New Mexico Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by goodfish
  • Local Customs
    by goodfish
  • Local Customs
    by goodfish

New Mexico Local Customs

  • Land & People

    Albuquerque Local Customs

    Manuel’s Food Market opened in 1924 and is located at the present-day intersection of Edith Boulevard and Roma Avenue. Manuel lived to be 98 and his daughter, Clara, still runs the market. Adelita's grandmother also lived there in the 1920's. Her wonderful blog about the area tells us that "if you’ve never been in Manuel's, make a point to stop by....

  • Public Art

    Albuquerque Local Customs

    Nestled behind the hospitals in the South Martineztown area there is a small, neighborhood park at the corner of Edith and Roma, next to Longfellow Elementary School. A unique cultural treasure, the 1983, fiberglass sculpture, “Southwest Pieta,” by the famous New Mexico artist, Luis Jimenez Jr. sits on the west end of the park. Diagonally across...

  • Local Foods

    Albuquerque Local Customs

    New Mexican food is different from other ethnic food that have 'Mexican' in their name. New Mexican food is a combination of Mexican, Spanish and Native American cuisine. Tortillas, pinto beans (frijoles), papas (potatoes), ground beef, sopapillas, and chile are found on all New Mexico restaurant menus. A variant of the usual tortilla out here is...

  • Native Cultures

    Albuquerque Local Customs

    One can't travel through the Southwest without spotting Ristras strewn along a roofline or colorfully accenting a country kitchen. Ristras are a string of dried red chile, which tradition says bring good luck. Many years ago, if the farmers didn't eat them outright, they would string up the chiles with sisal or twine to cure them. I'm told that...

  • Options for Anthropology in New Mexico

    New Mexico is tricultural with Native American, Chicano (the historical meaning) and Anglo cultures blended together. Depending on how many days you have and how much hiking are you willing to do, you have many many options ranging from the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on the University of New Mexico campus, to state monuments and national...

  • Would you like red, green...

    Here in New Mexico, we are famous for that delicious vegetable that is the chile! You can of course, find different spice and chiles all over the world but New Mexico is famous for producing some of the best in the country, and probably the only place in the country you'd want to bother with! We have a saying here when you're at a restaurant and...

  • Descansos

    The custom of marking the site of a death on the highway has deep roots in the Hispanic culture of the Southwest, where these memorials are often referred to as Descansos, "resting places". Traditionally, Descansos were memorials erected at the places where the funeral procession paused to rest on the journey between the church and the cemetery....

  • Chillies are part of the New Mexico...

    Chillies are part of the New Mexico psyche. They love to eat them and love to use them as decoration. The site of hanging “ristas” is a memory of New Mexico that you will never forget. These hanging strings of dried chillies look just perfect hanging on an adobe building against the pinkish red clay exterior. This light hue of red, with the darker...

  • Leave a cross after making a request...

    One of the most amazing things at the Santuario de Chimayo is the shear number of homemade crosses that adorn the fencing along the stream. The tradition here is to leave a cross behind to mark your intention. Some crosses were made before arrival and are a bit more ornate. Most of the crosses were made with twigs found on property and bound...

  • Religious Folkart

    The Spanish exploration of the New Worlds included a promise to the Catholic Church to provide more souls for the church itself. Therefore, Catholocism was an important part of conquistador life. With a lack of European influence in their art, local converts began creating likenesses of the saints, Virgin May, and Christ they were taught about....

  • Mysterious But Devout Penitente

    There are many ways that people have chosen to worship God. Los Hermanos Penitentes in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado are very different from mainstream and have had to become secretive. One can still see things from their way of life. The pictures are from Truchas, NM, on NM-76.

  • Door to where?

    For some reason, as we were driving around in awe of the southwestern flavour throughout the whole area, I was drawn to this old door propped outside someone's storefront. This is not uncommon a sight here, and certainly catchy for those who appreciate old rustic items of yesteryear.

  • Adobe style homesteads

    I love how the adobe style homes cover the landscaping in the southwest. While New Mexico is modern in it's architecture, there is still the simplicity and sensibility to have many homes and businesses still of the old adobe composition and structure.

  • Crosses along the road ....

    Since I moved to New Mexico over 15 years ago, I noticed an odd (to me) tradition. Crosses, plastic flowers, and other memorabilia along various stretches of the roadside seemd a constant companion as I traveled from point A to point B. I came to understand that these memorials were in honor of those who died on these roadways. I found these...

  • New Mexico Architecture

    Most buildings in New Mexico, except in the downtown areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, are adobe or at least look like it. Taos actually has a rule that all buildings must be built in the adobe style. (So if you're looking for McDonalds or Walmart in Taos, beware, they will be square brown buildings just like all the others. But if you're in Taos,...

  • Red or Green?'s the state question. Whenever you order New Mexican food, you will be asked, "Red or green?" referring to the type of chile you prefer. (Yes, it's chile, not chili.) People say green is slightly hotter, but if you're not from around here, both colors are going to be hot! It's really just a matter of taste. I always say, "both!"--which...

  • More NM Architecture

    If you happen to look up while you are in a traditional adobe building, you'll see that the ceiling is made of a network of wood. Two kinds of wood beams run across the ceiling. Large round beams called vigas, anchored in the walls, support much more slender beams called latillas that run perpendicular to the vigas. The picture shows the ceiling of...

  • Respect the rules of the Tribal land

    The Native Americans are set on their privacy.There are a lot of Western customs, that are not appreciated by the people of the Pueblos, such as taking pictures, visual/ audio recordings, bringing pets to the pueblo... Of course we respected their regulations.

  • Green or Red?

    You might find it strange to be asked "would you like green or red?" All this means is would you like green or red chile on whatever you ordered. Trick is...sometimes the red chile is hotter and sometimes the green is hotter. You have to ask. Green or red is a statewide "ketchup or mustard" type of question you will have to deal with A delicious...

  • Homes blend into landscape

    So many of the homes we saw along the way were almost indistinguishable until you got close to them. Many were built right into the hillside. There seems to be a desire to blend into the landscape so as not to disturb the views at a distance. It is a real interesting approach to architecture.

  • Silver jewelry from Native Americans

    Santa Fe has amazing choices for silver. The natives sell it on the street, artists sell in lovely's everywhere you look.I tried several times to get good photos of those wonderful native American faces, but they always turn away.

  • Respect the natives

    Don't treat the natives like amusement park mascots who are simply there for posing your children in front of. Don't take photos without asking! If you visit a pueblo, act like you would when being a guest at anyone else's home. Respectfully obey any rules or requests your hosts make to you.Don't lose your patience if you find the highway is...

  • Alpaca Farms

    Just outside Mora, in the alpine valleys as I started to head further north to Angel Fire, I was surprised to see what looked like dozens of Ilamas. As I continued to drive out of town, there were many very large open fields with these creatures grazing away. It turns out that they are actually Alpacas, about 3 feet high and the smallest of four...

  • Eat a Stuffed Sopapilla. Eat...

    Eat a Stuffed Sopapilla. Eat sopapillas. Basically a stuffed sopapilla is just shredded beef in red chili sauce, placed in a sopapilla. Sopapillas are easy to make if you use frozen crescent rolls. Take the dough triangles and gentle lay them into very hot, not quite smoking, oil (lard is referred). Keep an eye on them and in a few seconds they are...


    EXCERPT FROM NEW MEXICO 2002 VACATION GUIDE:LEGEND OF PAVLA BLANCA.Many people in the southeastern region of the state love to relate the legend of Pavla Blanca, or the ghost of the Great White Sands. Some say the ghostly figure usually appears as the evening winds sweep over the vast white gypsum dunes just after sunset, whipping up wraithlike...

  • As you are driving along you...

    As you are driving along you will notice scenic/historic markers. Before you get to one there will be a notice that typically says “Historic Marker 1 mile”. Pull over and there will be a little parking area and information or a map on the marker. You might find you are retracing the route used by Fremont, or Coronado. Maybe it is just an unusual...

  • When going into any pueblo, do...

    When going into any pueblo, do not take pictures of a person there without asking their permission. First, there is a fee for each camera that you bring into the pueblo. Second, most that live there prefer that their picture not be taken for cultural reasons. It doesn't mean that they won't consent, just respect and ask first.

  • Disabled Travelers - New...

    Disabled Travelers - New Mexico¡¯s progress in making dining, lodging and public facilities more accessible to the disabled is considerable. For the most part, handicapped travelers can enjoy many of New Mexico¡¯s natural and cultural wonders without trouble. Free brochures for visitors with hearing, mobility and visual impairments are available...

  • Don't be offended that a lot...

    Don't be offended that a lot of people speak Spanish in southern New Mexico. In Las Cruces, 60% of the population is Hispanic, so Anglos are in the minority. Almost everyone is bilingual, and almost all signs are in English, but you'll still get the feeling you're south of the border.

  • Just be respectful of the...

    Just be respectful of the Native American and Hispanic culture of New Mexico. Also realize that so many places are sacred places or are a connection to a time when people lived in harmony with the earth. Be quiet, listen and learn.

  • Respect and honor for the...

    Respect and honor for the Natives, especially re: photgraphing without permission. Most are more than willing to pose and/or share information when one is genuinely interested and courteous enough to ask.

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New Mexico Local Customs

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