Wednesday, 30 October 2013

El Rancho De Los Golondrinas

We visited so many wonderful places during our 2 and half week holiday.  When we arrive in  New Mexico, we were just in time to experience a living history event for the spanish period of 1800's when New Mexico was under Spanish control.  We spent an entire day at the festival and learned so much of how the spanish lived.
I loved the red chili, we found them every where

Lots of rooms showing how people lived.  Here they had a hanging baby cradle covered in sheep's skin

Grinding stones for wheat and corn

Visiting the community's church

We were told they the wooden crosses have bits of dry wheat or corn inlaid in the wood and that it is reflective at night with candle light giving the appearance of gold.

They also used tin as decorations, again the tin reflects light from the candles at night.

Kids got to try their hands at making tin decorations to take home

Bread ovens and lovely chili ropes

Weaving rooms
Kids got to try the loom

MarioFan was fascinated with the spinning wheel

Looking at grain storage

How people may have lived during this period

examining a Yucca plant root which I have read can be used as soap and we were shown how by first using a rock to pound the root and then place pulp  into warm water.  The pulp and juice of the root acts like soap.  

Kids were given a little bit of sheep wool to wash and then compare the before and after using the Yucca root.   They said it differently spelt better after using the yucca soap. 

Next the kids made flour tortillas 

Everyone cooking their tortillas on an open fire

Adding fresh butter and cinnamon, yum yum

Watching the ladies make chili ropes

there is a particular way to do this

We watched several dances of the period

Watching younger kids make wine by stepping on the grapes.  My kids so wanted to do this but they were too big:(

Helping to make apple cider

Playing games, I believe this one was called Playing Graces.  Both kids loved this and Firedrake was very good at catching the wooden hoop.  
 It was a great day and we learned tons about this period.  I did think it was very interesting that this wonderful facility was begun by a European who noticed that this period of history was not well represented.  Also many of the re-enactors were of European origin, we met Swedes, and Germans, and white Americans and there were only a few Spanish Americans working there.  I wonder if that is because history re enactment is so much more part of life in Europe.  Europeans tend to embrace their past, at least from my experience.  This is just my observations, and this did not distract from the wonderful learning we had as a family.


  1. I'm saving this for when we study Kaya again :)

  2. It all looks wonderful - how fabulous that there was so much hands-on for the kids.
    I am about to start making a chilli rope with my home growns - don't think it will look quite like theirs - wish you were here to show me how they did it!

  3. That is cool! I love fresh made tortillas. My friend's mom used to make the best tortillas in the entire world. Interesting that a European started it. I have no idea who started Old Town in San Diego and can't remember what percentage of the re-enactors were Hispanic. At the same time, Hispanic people are of European (Spain) descent, just mixed with Native South American and Central American Indians, some more so than others.

  4. What a cool event. It's inspiring to see American or Spanish living history events. I'm glad you're getting settled. We learned to spin after seeing a demonstration at a history event similar to the one you mentioned. Weaving, corn tortillas, it all looks like lots of fun.