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Archive for the ‘About New Mexico’ Category

cranes wiki public domain

(Cranes, Wiki, Public Domain)

In winter, Canada geese have long gone south and are no longer visible along the Rio Grande corridor that marks the almost-western border of the Albuquerque, New Mexico metro-plex. However, cranes have taken their place.

As the earth is plowed and turned to rest before the start of the busy growing season later this month, it is a common sight to see small flocks of migrant birds resting on the soil, as they quietly seek out last fall’s remaining seed in the soft dirt.

For au pairs in the Albuquerque area, the Rio Grande corridor is a journey into nature—and into history. The beautiful horse farms that border this road are back away from the road, behind agricultural fields in which birds rest. Many homes are adobe, and date from the middle of the past century or earlier.

Los Poblanos  (famous for their lavender fields in summer) draws international visitors to their farm. Near the Old Town end of the Rio Grande corridor are shops and restaurants with a local flavor, and Old Town Plaza itself is a world class tourist area.

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Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Albuquerque is a semi-desert area–with lots of sandy soil, cactus, and a humidity factor that plummets during most of the year. Temperatures make extreme changes when the climate is dry, rising and falling as much as 50 degrees between day and night.

Host children (and Host Families) in New Mexico may enjoy learning about these changes at a site designed especially to teach children about deserts.

The example given is the Sahara Desert, where summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 degrees or less at night. Albuquerque isn’t as extreme as the Sahara, but it still requires an understanding of how to dress in layers and how to keep hydrated.

Au pairs with native skills in desert and semi-desert lifestyles (and those who develop these skills in caring for their New Mexico adopted families) will recognize Albuquerque weather on this website.

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Biscochitos are small, cookies with a sweet cinnamon and anise sugar coating. Addictive from the word go, they are de rigueur for a proper Albuquerque Christmas. Cut into special shapes like circles, stars and triangles, biscochitos appear after Thanksgiving and continue through the New Year.

Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen, www.janebutelcooking.com, provides a classic Spanish biscochito recipe online with a downloadable pdf for simplicity. Biscochitos are the New Mexico state cookie.

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English: San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church lo...

San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Old Town Plaza is a major tourist attraction in Albuquerque throughout the seasons, but it becomes a magical place for Christmas. Luminarias are paper bag lanterns filled with sand and a candle that are said light the way for the Christ Child throughout the Southwest, and particularly in New Mexico.

Local residents gather to fill the bags and arrange them in elaborate decorative patterns—transforming the historical Plaza into a Christmas Eve place of enchantment and festivities that conclude with a quiet evening Mass at San Felipe de Neri Church, originally built in 1706.

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Since 1997, there has been a bright and shining display of very special lights at the Botanical Gardens each Christmas. Known as the River of Lights, all kinds of local people have donated their time and workmanship to create a magical garden display of whimsy:

 “Nowhere is the spirit of the season more evident than at the River of Lights, where snowmen live in their own small world, and lights throughout the Botanic Gardens come to life as oversized bees, flies, butterflies and more. See yellow submarines, scuttling scorpions, and watch Pegasus take wing. It’s the 12th River of Lights, where every year brings new displays, which just keep getting better. “

 At a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child, from the end of November through the end of December each year, this display ranks high on the agenda of au pairs and Host Families.

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One of many walking trails.

One of many walking trails. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, public domain)

The state of New Mexico calls itself the “Land of Enchantment.” Long a haven for artists, the nickname refers at least partly to the magical colors and shadows of the sunlight captured in paintings, photos, and movies.

The natural light is especially lovely in early fall as sunflowers line the highways– or sunlight filters through the trees along walking trails in high desert areas.

Au pairs with a passion for nature can fall in love with New Mexico! Contact GoAuPair to learn more.

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Sandiatramway.jpg

(The Albuquerque Mountains Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Mexico’s history in film is longer than its statehood. In 1898 a black and white documentary titled Indian Day School featured Isleta Pueblo which is located south of Albuquerque. The film was 1 minute long.

Over the years there have been a number of well-known films that were made partially or completely in New Mexico. Butch Cassidy graced New Mexico in 1969 and 1979. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was filmed in 1973. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusaders became real in 1989. Milagro Beanfield War (a local classic) was filmed in 1988.

If you see footage in a film and think it looks very much like the mountains East of Albuquerque, or the rolling hills and golden light of Santa Fe, you may be right. As a final treat, check out this Facebook page.

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