About Historic Santa Fe

Teacher participants at this workshop will put historical sites, documents and resources of the Santa Fe historic area into context through a focused conceptual study on homelands. As the New Mexico region including Santa Fe, New Mexico moved toward statehood, the United States inherited the memory and material creations of the region. The place is itself a homeland with a larger story.

Teachers can integrate the information from the workshop into the curriculum pertaining to early America, including pre-colonial America. Additionally, because the workshop will be structure around essential questions, teachers will be able to make many other curricular connections. The following essential questions will guide the work of participants in the workshop. What are homelands? How do homelands stretch, shrink, and shift over time? What happens when homelands overlap with one another? How does (perpetual) colonization, conquering, and resistance transform homelands and create new ones? What is the spiritual story of a homeland? How do the artistic products and structures of a homeland tell a story? What connections do people have to a homeland and how are these connections manifested in history and in present-day? And importantly, for the purpose of this workshop, how do the Camino Real and the Palace of the Governors exemplify the multifarious and layered unfolding of homeland in an area that a vibrant system of Pueblo communities prior to European Settlement?

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro -

nmhistorymuseum.org/       elcaminoreal.org/

In 1598, nearly 10 years before the settlement of Jamestown, Juan de Oñate and a group of settlers and conquerors from New Spain traveled northward from the Rio Grande to present day Northern New Mexico on a road later known as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. This road stretched over fifteen hundred miles from Mexico City to Santa Fe. The cultural (ex)change that occurred because of the Camino Real is visible in current day NM and is reflected in cultural, intellectual, and artistic traditions. Furthermore, the Camino Real transformed America by facilitating the transport of ideas, goods, and culture in a north south corridor that connected to later established trails including the Santa Fe trail.

As a historic site the road is acknowledged as the first European road from Mexico in the present day United States. It is recognized as a national Historic Trail by the National Park Service. The road represents the homelands of Spain and the interior of Mexico, that were left as conquerors and settlers from Spain and later México moved into present day New México. The road represents the homelands that were lost as the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico had to struggle for continued existence. The road represents a new culture that evolved over hundreds of years as the groups in the place that is now Santa Fe found a rhythm of daily existence.

Palace of the Governors -


Construction for the Palace of the Governors began in 1609 under the direction of Governor Pedro de Peralta. This building was a symbolic structure that represented Spain’s power in the region.

Like the Camino Real, the Palace marks the site of conflict and tension as well as a site of the redefinition of a society. When ousted Spanish settlers fled the Palace during the Pueblo Revolt, Pueblo peoples utilized the Palace for their own purposes. With the reconquista, the Palace once again changed hands. Remarkably, the Palace has remained a public building in continuous use since 1610; this predates all other public buildings in the United States. In 2010 at the marking of the Palace’s 400th anniversary, the Palace serves as both a monument and a museum to document the changing nature of homelands. It was designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1960 and an American Treasure in 1999. The building represents the legacy of colonialism and accommodation, of homelands appropriated and redefined.

Area Pueblo Communities -

The people of the Pueblos showed early resistance to colonial and missionary rule. The settlement and history of New Mexico cannot be examined without studying Pueblo history.

Taos Pueblo -


Taos Pueblo is an example of one of the longest continuously inhabited historic sites in the country. Located 80 miles north of Santa Fe it is the northernmost Pueblo.

Taos Pueblo is a living historic site. It is designated as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. The Pueblo exemplifies a homeland with a story of resistance, change, resilience and permanence. In the record of American history it serves as a reminder that the history of the Americas is far greater than colonial beginnings.

Pecos National Park -


Cicuye Pueblo, renamed Pecos Pueblo by the Spanish (and the name that is still used today) a long deserted site and now a designated National Park, is a testament to an 11,000 year history of the Pueblo people in this area. Pecos Pueblo, located 25 miles southeast of Santa Fe, was the gateway Pueblo to the great plains. This Pueblo was a flourishing area of economic, religious, and social activity for centuries prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Once arrived, a Spanish Conquistador described Pecos Pueblo as having the “most greatest and best buildings of these provinces.”