New Mexico is a state with a background that has its roots deep in the Spanish colonial era and El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a place that recreates that very history in a very nice small town style southwest of Santa Fe. The place originally used to be a camping stop between Santa Fe and Mexico City and then it was rebuilt completely with buildings brought in from all parts of New Mexico. These buildings include mills, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith and even a meeting house. The result is a place that is truly a historical heaven that attracts visitors from all over the world, all year round. The experience of this place is unlike anything you have ever experienced. There is no museum in the world where you get reminded of the past in a more clear and detailed manner. With activities and festivals going on throughout every summer weekend, there is plenty to see and enjoy in this small village. The true daily lifestyle of the colonial era is brought back to life with people performing in attires from that time period and showing skills like weaving, spinning and baking bread in mud ovens. Read on to find out more about this mesmerizing place.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas was a creation of one Curtin-Paloheimo family that got the property in 1930s. They restored the existing buildings and authentic structures on old foundations. Their focus was to bring back to life an important era of the New Mexican history that held its roots deep in the native people of the state. Through the years it has hosted several important events as well and a particular emphasis has always been kept on the educational facility there which strives to provide the visitors, especially students with the knowledge of the place. Currently the owners of El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a non-profit organization called El Rancho de las Golondrinas, Inc.
Attractions and Activities
There is so much to watch and do in El Rancho de las Golondrinas as it presents you with opportunity after opportunity of activities that take you into the very heart of Spanish colonial era. There are several barnyards where you can see heritage livestock and then there are heirloom crops too. One of the most interesting things is the music that is being played during the festivities, Spanish-American folk tunes that keep you humming constantly. There is a lot of dancing as well so you can truly get into the party and enjoy yourself and dance all night long until you get completely exhausted. Getting yourself involved in the festivities really opens you to the time when travelers used to stop here before continuing towards the final leg of their journey towards the north which took half a day on horse and wagon.
Museums & Souvenirs
The whole 200 acres of land have been filled with buildings from the Spanish colonial times and restored in the way they would have looked back in the day. You can find incredibly detailed setups in each and every one of them during the festival as this is the time when the traditional everyday activities of the people of that era are recreated in the most authentic way. You can double the fun here by getting a costume of your own and joining the performances yourself. There are souvenirs available for purchase too and also some very unusual items that you may come across on the displays. Most of the items that you will see are crafts that have been created by the artisans of New Mexico who are the direct descendants of the people who used to live in this place during the Spanish colonial era.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas is an amazing little village with a great history lesson, a lesson that is taught to the visitors in the most fun way possible. The best time to visit is either during the Spring Festival in June or the Harvest Festival in October. The facilities for tourists are quite decent and you will definitely love your time here.