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Now in development – a .6-mile walking route around the heart of the village. This project aims to be carried out through multiple phases, seeking community input along the way. The desire, at this phase, is to engage with the community, beyond the origin team (a group of local residents), to share in the act of creation and representation.

The growing vision is to invite residents to tell their stories, to create a vibrant walking path, and to weave stories and images along a trail. The hope is to root the project in a large context – that includes history, particularly of the Spanish Frontier and Indigenous Peoples, and culture. The present is heir to history, and we acknowledge that this relationship emerges in complex ways.

This timely project supports our community’s shift from a mining town to a broader economy, one that focuses on cultural preservation, and includes sharing our local history and surrounding beauty with visitors, residents, and homecoming family.

This project is collaborating with LEAP who will build a cache for oral histories and archival imagery. These oral histories will focus on local stories – themes include experiences of life ways  – sheep herding, mining, agriculture – and the seasonal rhythms of life, such as acequia care, cleaning, and use. These stories encompass a larger memory project and will reside online at QuestaStories.org.

Photo credit: All photographic images currently displayed on this site were taken by John Collier, circa 1940 when he spent time (mainly one winter) in Questa capturing images of people and place. They are archived at the Library of Congress.

Portraits

These portraits come from the Library of Congress and we would love to add more. You can contact us if you wish to add images of your own.

About

This project is looking for community feedback and input.  Initial, portable signs will be erected for National Trails Day, June 2nd 2018, an opportunity to enjoy the proposed trail route and collect feedback. The next phases will establish the the trail surface, a marked route, and more permanent signs along with visual and art elements (2019?).  Our team is a group from the community. More about us below.

Here’s the main idea.

The Questa History and Community Trail will circle from the village center to the old church plaza, and back, on an initial .6-mile route. A walking route along the acequia is under consideration, presently.

At this time, the walk will host 8 interpretive signs at key historical or cultural viewpoints. Signs will share histories and memories, while the beautified trail will encourage exercise and enjoyment for our community, and for visitors.

Topics include: acequias, orchards and agriculture; Sentinel Peak and the Kiowa Trail; a cemetery with possible adobe oratorio relic; St. Anthony’s Church – its history and the successful community-led renovation; viewpoint of Almagre – a geologic feature on the mountain-side where Pueblo people conduct an annual pilgrimage; and a viewpoint of the Molybdenum mine noting the history of mining.

Future landscaping work will create roadside walking areas and the physical trail, and possible a route along the acequia. Final signs will incorporate historic images and quotes from community members and include a QR code to link with complete oral histories cached online. The informational trail – which may have more interpretive signs – will be enhanced by several large reproductions of historic (and recent) photographs serving as public art and visual anthropology.

Add your input, skills and knowledge. The team grows with you!

The local team members / collaborators:

Mark Sideris; Historic Saint Anthony’s church restoration project Foreman, and landscape engineer advisor.

Flavio Cisneros; retired History teacher, and oral-history facilitator.

Jeannie Masters & Kate Cisneros; North Central NM Food Pantry founders and co-Directors, and oral-history facilitators.

Tim Long; local small business owner and seasonal ranger at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

Alberta Bouyer; local writer, Marketing Consultant, and former Questa Tourism Director.

Martha Shepp, Graphic Artist

LEAP collaborators:

Claire Cote; LEAP director – artist and educator, gentle instigator, mother and radical homemaker

Gaea McGahee; LEAP creative associate, Questa Farmers Market founder and manager, part-time professor with NMSU/DACC.

This project is funded by:

National Park Services’ Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program
Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area
New Mexico Humanities Council
In collaboration with the Village of Questa

LEAP is Land, Experience and Art of Place – a project of a local non-profit, Localogy. Through LEAP,  stories and photos will be collected in  an online archive and area youth will engage in research and record interviews with local elders.

The Questa History and Community Trail is a project of the Questa Creative Council. The QCC is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the US IRS Code.

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Blog

Two trail events this summer!

National Trails Day, Questa History Walk Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, 10:30am Not all trails are in the woods! Join local historian Flavio Cisneros for a walk of the Questa History & Community Trail.  A 5000-year timeline highlights rare geologic features, Hispano and multi-cultural settlements, Native life and conflicts, frontier religious devotion, orchards and arts.  Discover …

Contact

This project is growing, ongoing, and looking for your contribution. Join us!

For information about the History and Community Trail contact:
Alberta Bouyer
questacreativecouncil@gmail.com

To add photos or stories to the Oral History Archive contact:
Claire Coté and Gaea McGahee
575-224-9066
emailforleap@gmail.com