What rhymes on the name of a nice guy called Paco?

We arrived early in the morning to the wind bitten city of Santa Fe. Unlike the streets of all the other cities these streets were empty. There are only 66000 residents in Santa Fe and compared to Las Vegas or L.A it’s nothing. The weather was at least more forgiving than what we endured in Nevada and Arizona.

Our hotel was oddly nestled between two narrow streets and we probably walked past it three times until we eventually understood that the hole in the wall was our hotel. The receptionist was talking Spanish to us and Leo had troubles making himself understood. We were given strict restrictions about not music or talking after 10 P.M.

After laying our bags in our room we explored the city. Santa Fe is a quite different from other cities, the houses have vastly influenced by Spanish architecture and we found various comfy cafés. The city was overall very strolling friendly and we spent the afternoon walking around the city. When nightfall was imminent we found ourselves a nice tapas restaurant and we ate the most delicious food yet and after a few laughs we decided to go to bed.

We wore woken up early in the morning by the receptionist who said that we should sleep the day away; unfortunately it was 8 O’clock in the morning and we all were really tired. We didn’t know what we should do in the city and after a quick discussion we thought a visit to an art museum would be fun. When we were walking towards the art museum we found a quite jolly fellow by the name of Paco Rodriguez. Paco said he was lost and asked for direction to a cheap hotel or money for food. We gave Paco some money and told him were our cheap hotel was located and asked him if he wanted to tag along. Paco was very pleased and kept thanking us and talking about how he ended up in Santa Fe the entire way to the museum. Paco said he wanted to escape Santa Fe, that he wanted to travel the world. He thought that Santa Fe was like riding the bus. Fun the first time, but when you get to do it all the time it really sucked.

Paco really knew a lot about art and at the museum we were all surprised by how he could tell the story behind every painting. Our stay at the museum was very pleasant and Paco was really funny. We started to feel hungry and asked Paco for a good place to eat. Paco proclaimed that the best restaurant in Santa Fe was his aunt’s diner. He showed us the way through the narrow streets and his aunt really had the best food in all of Santa Fe. After eating very tasty tacos we decided that it was time to return to the hotel. We asked Paco if he wanted to come with us and he said that he very happily would. Paco said that he couldn’t return home since his parents kicked him out of the house, they weren’t happy about his lack of acceptance about his existence in Santa Fe.

We returned to the hotel and after Paco explained the situation in flawless Spanish for the restaurant he could stay with us. We woke up early in the morning and after helping Paco book a bus ticket from the few savings he had we were on the road again  towards Houston.

Santa Fe is the capital in the American federal state New Mexico and the total population is nearly 66 000 inhabitants. Most of the people in Santa Fe have a Spanish origin, which makes the town so different. Their deep-rooted culture has sat a strong impression at the city, among many things the annual fiesta. Santa Fe was founded in 1607 by European immigrants and the town keeps its characteristic and old appearances by a local legislation which crop that all the buildings have to be built-in the style Adobe. The biggest fuels in Santa Fe are tourism and art.

The cultural influence in Santa Fe is major and the city is very proud of its grand art collective. There are several galleries, even in the public environment there are a lot of sculptures.

El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe

The most famous museum in New Mexico is” El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe”. But the thing with this museum is that it doesn’t fit in the general concept of a museum. They call it “a center of Hispanic Culture and Learning”.  The reason is that it is a place where one learns through shared experience. They display and promote Hispanic art, culture, and history.

The museum is celebrating their 10th anniversary this summer. Seven years ago they moved into their present building, an inaccessible liquor warehouse, which was renovated with the help of many volunteers. They started with a small gallery and now they use the entire place, 32 000 square feet! The theater has 200 seats which were donated by the Santa Fe Opera and other local theater companies.

Since November 2004 they have been the home to the Santa Fe chapter of Veterans for Peace, and they also host the Winter Farmer’s Market and the winter Contemporary Hispanic Market. They host various events that have to do with the community. They also mount common art shows in their gallery space as well as arranging room for numerous classes and workshops.

Predominately a volunteer organization which is staffed by only one person, El Museo is making a huge influence on the Santa Fe community by bringing together different religious and non-religious groups. The work is very important to engaging young people in cultural and arts activities. They are also a part of the continued growth of the Railyard District.

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