I was on a vacation recently and on our way home we found ourselves flying out of Baltimore on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The plane was overbooked and we were constantly reminded so when boarding. I was sitting on the first row by the window and the aisle seat on my side was also taken. The seat in the middle remained open until the last person boarded. She was a delight to sit next to and we chatted for over an hour before we exchanged names. Her name is Clara Apodaca, and although her husband was elected Governor of New Mexico in 1974, she has a long list of accomplishments of her own and I was happy to be sitting next to her for the 3 hr & 45 minute flight.
Clara has returned to New Mexico after 18 years of living and working in our nation’s capital, and she is currently the President and CEO of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. This foundation is responsible for the events, exhibits, performances, educational opportunities and more at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, here in Albuquerque, and although I have mentioned an event or two before in my posts, I now feel prompted to spend more time writing about the NHCC, thanks to Clara.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center was many years in the making. It opened in 2000, but continues to always be a work in progress, as it is the cultural voice of all American Hispanics now and into the future. It is, itself, history in the making, and the only venue in America offering all people a much needed view of the culture and history of one of the largest population groups in the U.S. I suggest visiting the NHCC’s website and get on their mailing list so you will be able to keep up with their events, as there is always something to see and do at the NHCC.
There are two things going on there now that are very dear to me, both relating to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am not a Roman Catholic, but I am enamored by this icon of religion here in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest, Mexico and the Hispanic cultures of the Americas.
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s origins are in Tenochtitilán, Mexico now known as Mexico City, where the Virgin Mary presented herself four times to a poor native peasant named Juan Diego. It all happened in December 1531, and now her Feast Day is December 12. More than a religious figure, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a folk symbol of culture and history with many faithful followers throughout the world.
Please consider a visit to the National Hispanic Cultural Center soon to hear the rest of the story of la Virgen de Guadalupe, (aka la Virgen de Tepeyac, Nuestra Señora, la Morenita and many more names).
Free Exhibit – Guadalupe: Goddess of the Americas
Art from the NHCC permanent collection.
From November 21, 2009 through January 7, 2010
Feast of Guadalupe Celebration & Concert
December 15, 2009 at 7pm
I highly suggest this book, Viva Guadalupe! It is a very good introduction to the Queen of the Americas. The pictures of Our Lady in this post are from my personal collection. The first one is made from beeswax, the second is flowers encased in a clear acrylic.
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Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!