The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) is thankful for a successful turnout of nearly 200 people at their Celebration of Cultural Music event on April 22nd.

The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area started the evening by honor Board Members who have passed away. Family members for Joe Gallegos and Felix Martinez were present to receive a bouquet of flowers and printed memorials. Other board members honored included Stuart Hilwig, Emirta Romero-Anderson, Marianne Dunne, and Ubaldo Francisco Padilla.

Attendees were then entertained by traditional Hispanic performances from Mariachi San Luis, Semillas de la Tierra folklorico group, Los Vecinos Bailadores colonial dance instructors, and the night ended with a dance featuring the UZ Band.

Mariachi San Luis and Semillas de la Tierra kicked off the evening of cultural music by performing together. The haunting sounds of violins, trumpets, and guitars filled the hall. These traditional instruments of the Mariachi date back to the 1800’s. Mariachi San Luis wore the traditional Charro suits. The silver buttons called botonaduras that lined the sleeves and legs of their costumes glistened under the ballroom lights.

The accompanying Mexican folklorico dance group, Semillas de la Tierra, had several outfit changes for each unique dance performance. The bright colors of the women’s dresses created a moving rainbow as they tap danced their way across the dance floor.
“I love the old dances, they are so fun and elegant” Irene Duran.
Los Vecinos Bailadores “The neighbors that dance” provided traditional dance instruction as attendees joined in on the fun of La Marcha, and other colonial dances.

The photo booth was a big hit allowing everyone to try on Sombrero hats, and strike a pose with other props in front of a life size backdrop of dancers and musicians.
Tori Martinez, the Executive Director for the SdCNHA said, “We are very happy with the support we felt from the San Luis Valley community regarding our event. We are also very grateful to the many volunteers from Adams State University’s Cultural Awareness and Student Achievement Center (C.A.S.A.), as well as our board members, staff and their families, without whom we would not have had such a successful event.”

Dennis Lopez, Board Vice President, greeted attendees; Nick Saenz, Board President, did the welcome and introduction; Kimba Rael, Board Member, operated the photo booth; Donald Valdez, Board Member, handed out memorials to the family members present; and Helen Sigmond, Board Member drew the winner of the raffle prize, which was two tickets to the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Additional sponsorship for the event came from The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, The Colorado Trust, City Market in Alamosa, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and the Knights of Columbus. Proceeds from the food sales benefited the Antonito Senior Center.

For more information on the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area visit the organization’s website at