2015 Hilos Summer Institute

Cultural Seminars

Rosalía de Aragón, Educator

Many say they have heard the unforgettable, spine chilling cry of La Llorona, the Wailing Woman, as she wanders searching for her children. Many also can say that they have met her through actor/singer Rosalía de Aragón, who has portrayed La Llorona for ten years. Traveling throughout the state of New Mexico, she has performed at museums, fiestas, schools and other community events. She has taken the ghost to the Smithsonian Institution, where she was the featured performer for Hispanic Heritage Month through the Department of Latino Initiatives. Besides bringing to life the traditional Hispanic ghost tale of La Llorona, Rosalía also reminds the audience of the value of traditional folk dances, music and the use of stories in various cultures as an educational tool. Unlike a traditional play, she breaks the barrier between the actor and audience. Audience members are invited to volunteer to help bring the story to life. De Aragón is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She began her acting studies in Musical Theatre at the College of Santa Fe and was accepted to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood where she completed a summer intensive acting program. Her experience in numerous theatrical productions, commercials and films also includes the role of Trementina Sister in the movie, Bless Mi Ultima. She also performed the role of River in the opera Time and Again Barelas with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra at Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico, and at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. As a vocalist, she has also recorded a CD entitled Canto De La Llorona.

Billy Archuleta, Musician

Billy Archuleta, of Des Montes, NM, has been playing music and singing the popular folk songs of the area from an early age. He is a member of the Southwest Musicians and is Director of the church choir at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish in Taos. Billy most recently composed, arranged and recorded Primero Dios, a religious themed CD. Billy's pursuit of maintaining traditions also includes hosting Las Posadas annually in addition to his past membership in the Penitente Brotherhood as a member of the local Morada in Arroyo Seco, NM.

Benjamín Baca, Traditional Folk Artist

Banjamín Baca, born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, one of eleven children. His familia moved to Santa Fé where he attended public school. After serving in the U.S. Military, Banjamín graduated from St. Michael's College in Sante Fé and later from the University of New Mexico where he received his graduate degrees. As an educator and administrator in the Santa Fé Public Schools for over twenty five years where he also directed Special Olympics for several years.

Benjamín and his wife Deluvine have four children and for the past thirty three years have been active members of La Sociedad Colonial Española de Santa Fé.

The mission of the organization is to focus on preserving Los Bailes Antiguos that were commonly danced throughout the region during the three hundred year period as part of the northern frontier of Nueva España, later México and the southwest.

In 1948, Los Coloniales began reintroducing those dance traditions, and to the present day continue to perform at fairs, festivals, public schools, and countless other special occasions. In 1999 an invitation was extended to perform abroad in Santa Fé de la Vega, Los Palacios, and the Embassy in Madrid, Spain. In 2010, Benjamín Baca was recognized for his leadership role as president of Los Coloniales de Santa Fé and nominated to receive "Premio Hilos Culturales- Traditional Folk Artist Award".

Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D., Fine Artist

Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D., of Santa Fé, NM is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in Anthropology/Archealogy. A Santero Artist, he has studied and researched the carving tools and styles, pigment and varnish preparations, traditional iconography, and paint styles of the old Santero masters. He teaches and demonstrates traditional santo-making throughout the country. Charlie is a renowned wood carver and painter of retablos ( a painted devotional panel) and reredos (alter screens.) He is the author of Saints of the Pueblos, an exploration of the connections between Hispanic and Pueblo cultures, which is also a touring exhibit presently being shown at the Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Charlie is the recipient of the "National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in Folk and Traditional Arts" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Spanish Colonial Arts Society of Santa Fé, New Mexico.

Debbie Trujillo Carrillo, Potter

Debbie Trujillo Carrillo, originally from Abiquiú, New Mexico. Having studied under Felipe Ortega, master potter of Hispanic and Jicarilla descent, Debbie is recognized as an accomplished potter of micaceous clay. Debbie, her husband Charlie, and children, exhibit annually at Spanish Market in Santa Fé, NM.

Antonio Esquibel, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Spanish
Metropolitan State University of Denver


Antonio was born in Littleton, CO, one of twelve siblings, accompanying his parents during his formative years as they followed the crops through eastern Colorado and western Kansas. He later received degrees from Adams State University in Spanish and Latin, and Highlands University in Bilingual Education. He began his professional career as a teacher of Spanish and Latin at Englewood High School in the suburbs of Denver. He Received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He then taught in the Department of Health Administration at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He later served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Vice President for Community Outreach at Metropolitan State College in Denver where he worked for 20 years. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Metropolitan State College, Denver, CO. Antonio was the 2004 recipient of the "César Chávez Leadership Award" for his life-time contributions to the Denver Latino community, and received "Colorado's Hispanic Annual Salute Award," given to the Hispanic who has contributed most to Hispanics statewide. He has long had an interest in dichos and adivinanzas (proverbs and riddles), having written a monthly column for the ¿Que Pasa? Newsletter on dichos and adivinanzas. Antonio has just finished his third book, Hipolito: The Prodigal Son. His other publications are, Message to Aztlán; Selected Writings of Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales and The Career Mobility of Chicanos in Higher Education. Antonio has recently completed a four year term as a member of the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan State College. He has served for 10 years as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of La Escuela Tlatelolco and as a Board Member of the Adams State College Alumni Association. Antonio is presently serving as Vice-President for Council #7 of the S.P.M.D.T.U., Denver Chapter. He also received the "Libretony Education Award" from La Escuela Tlatelolco.

Gregorio Gonzales, Dancer

Gregorio Gonzales (Genízaro) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology and Borderlands Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing Graduate Portfolios in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, as well as Native American and Indigenous Studies. Graduating from The University of New Mexico in 2012 with a Master's degree (with Distinction) in Latin American Studies, and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree (with Honors) in Government from New Mexico State University in 2010, his dissertation work examines the historical, political, sociocultural, and epistemological dynamics of nation-building in region, and their continued impact on the examination, expression, and embodiment of Genízaro identity in the Taos and Chama valleys. Most recently, Gregorio was selected for an academic appointment through the Smithsonian Minority Awards Program as a Visiting Student at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellowship through the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Los Comanches de la Serna, Danzantes


Los Comanche de la Serna, a group of singers and dancers from Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, are the descendents of Indian captives (genízaro people) of the Comanche who were traded to the Spanish ranchers who founded Ranchos de Taos in the early 18th century. The captives, many of them children, came from a variety of Indian tribes, and were brought up with Spanish surnames.

Despite growing up as captives and eventually learning to speak Spanish and generally adopting Spanish ways, the genízaro retained the Comanche language also remembering their dances and songs that had been handed down from their forefathers.

Today, Los Comanche de la Serna performs on New Year's Day, commemorated as Emanuel's Day, and St. Paul's Day, January 25. On these two days, from sunup to sundown, drummers, singers and dancers go from house to house in Talpa and Llano Quemado singing and dancing. They remember thirty-six songs and twelve dances from the "old days." Their oral tradition says their tribes also included Navajo, Utes and Apaches.

Francisco Gonzales

Francisco Gonzales a.k.a. El Comanche is the present leader of Los Comanche de La Serna. Francisco is a descendent of the genízaro people the early settlers of Ranchos de Taos, Llano Quemado, Talpa, and La Cordillera. Francisco was born in Ranchos de Taos one month before Pearl Harbor. At the age of 3, his father had him dancing the Comanche songs and dances. El Comanche attended Menaul School and finished high school in Taos. He graduated from Highlands University, and completed graduate course work at San Jose State University. Served in the New Mexico State Legislature and presently Francisco is retired and residing in Ranchos de Taos.

Enrique Lamadrid

Enrique is Professor Emeritus where he previously taught folklore, literature and cultural history in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico's Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Author of Tesoros del Espiritu: A Portrait in Sound of Hispanic New Mexico; Los Comanches – Text, Performances and Transculturation in an Eighteenth-Century New Mexican Folk Drama; Angeles, Pastores y Comanches Cantan al Resplendor/Angels, Shepherds and Comanches Sing to the Light. Most recently, Enrique co-authored Hotél Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Heritage in Los Angeles, University of New Mexico Press. His literary writings explore the borderlands between cultures, their natural environments, popular traditions and literary expressions.

Enrique is also an acequia activist. He and his students prepared documentation for a UNESCO nomination for the Acequia Cultures and Systems of New Mexico and Northern Mexico for world heritage designation in the category of intangible cultural heritage.

In addition to writing children's books, Enrique has also created a historical character performance for the New Mexico and Colorado Endowment of the Humanities: Rafael Chacón, a nineteenth century New Mexican and military commander who is considered to be the most resonant Hispano voice of the nineteenth century and is recognized as one of the founding fathers of Trinidad, Colorado.

Pepita's LLC


Pepita's brand of Organic Baking Mixes and Pepita's Catering is named after our beloved mother, Pepita Martinez, who died in 1986, she was the matriarch of our family. Her life centered around her family and the wonderful meals and baked goods she prepared for us and countless friends. Pepita's tradition of cooking and baking everything from "scratch" has been passed down to her children.

 After a series of dreams in the year 2000, a family meeting was held and a company was formed.We are keeping Pepita's spirit alive by continuing her traditions and the rich cultural traditions of the people of San Luis, Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico by providing wholesome, nutritious and great-tasting organic mixes for your family and made from scratch meals using local organic products raised and grown by local traditional farmers.
Panza Llena, Corazón Contento(Full Stomach, Happy Heart)

Larry Torres, Educator

Larry Torres, a native of Arroyo Seco, NM, has been a teacher of Spanish, Russian, French, English, Latin, Linguistics, Bilingual Education and Southwest Studies. A noted New Mexico educator, Larry, after receiving many local, regional and state honors, came to national prominence in 1992 when he was awarded "National Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher of the Year" at the Annual Disney Salutes The American Teacher Awards program in Los Angeles, CA. He is currently Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Cultures at the University of New Mexico in Taos. He has written extensively and authored Las Posadas; Los Moros y Los Cristianos; Las Cuatro Apariciones de Guadalupe, and Los Matachines Desenmascarados. Larry has been an actor with the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities' Chautauqua Program, successfully completed many years of impersonating Jean-Baptiste Lamy, first Archbishop of Santa Fé; the persona of conquistador, Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and of Civil Rights activist Reyes López Tijerina. Larry has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Excellence in Teaching and also received the "Excellence in Teaching Award" sponsored by the Southwest Coalition of Language Teachers; the "National Educator Award" sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation and is the recipient of the "Camino Real Award" as one of 15.

Lorenzo Trujillo, Ed.D., J.D., Musician


A graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder; San Francisco State University and the University of Colorado School of Law. Lorenzo is the director of the Southwest Musicians. He is a violinist, guitarist, and vocalist, including contributions as an ethnic dancer, folklorist, arts administrator and culture bearer for approximately four decades. A folk musician, he has received the Colorado "Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts," and is a recipient of the "Premio Hilos Culturales - Traditional Folk Artist Award." Lorenzo was introduced into the Chicano Music Hall of Fame and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts as a panelist, presenter, and evaluator. He was named "Colorado Folk Artist and Master Teacher" by the Colorado Council on the Arts through the Master/Apprentice Program. His numerous recordings include Musical Traditions of Colorado and New Mexico with the Southwest Musicians and A Musical Banquet: From Santa Fé to Denver, among others. Lorenzo is a retired Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Colorado Law School. His noted publication is: Music of Colorado and New Mexico's Río Grande, published in Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado, University of Colorado Press, 2011. Dr. Trujillo is featured on the recording; The Golden Age of the Southwest: From 1840 to Hollywood.

Angel Vigil


Angel Vigil is Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department and Director of Drama at Colorado Academy in Denver. He is an award winning author, performer, stage director and teacher. His awards include the Heritage Artist Award and the Master Artist Award from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has also received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education and the Mayor's Individual Artist Fellowship Award. He also was awarded the Colorado State Theatre Educator of the Year Award. Angel is the author of six award-winning books on Hispanic and Western culture and arts. His book The Corn Woman, and Other Stories and Legends from the Hispanic Southwest won the prestigious New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age National Award. His book Una Linda Raza, Cultural and Artistic Traditions of the Hispanic Southwest won the Border Library Association Southwest Book of the Year Award and the Colorado Book of the Year Special Recognition Award. Angel also authored ¡Teatro! Hispanic Plays for Young People, The Eagle in the Cactus, Traditional Tales from Mexico and Riding Tall in the Saddle, The Cowboy Fact Book. He also wrote a children's book "Papi, How Many Stars Are in the Sky." Angel is a Colorado Heritage Artist storyteller who has performed throughout the nation at festivals, universities, schools and art centers. He has been featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Keepers of the Word festival at Amherst College, the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival, the International Reading Association, the National Independent School Library Association, the Four Corners Storytelling Festival, the Mesa Storytelling Festival, and the Nebraska Storytelling Festival. His specialty is the oral traditions of the Hispanic Southwest. Angel is also a member of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Chautauqua program for his historical presentation of Diego Martín, El Vaquero, America's First Cowboy.

Cipriano F. Vigil, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist


Cipriano F. Vigil, Ph.D., a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas. His post graduate work is from El Centro Nigromante, Mexico, D.F., and Kennedy-Western University, CA, in Ethnomusicology. He has performed at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C. and has recorded and transcribed Regional Folk Music since the 1960's. He has researched and performed the ritual and traditional music of New Mexico that dates back to the early 17th century. Cipriano has also developed a repertoire folk-based style, La Nueva Canción Nuevomejicana, as demonstrated in his recording, Los Folkloristas de Nuevo México. He is the recipient of the "New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Life Time Achievement Award," the "New Mexico Hispanic Folk Music Award," and the New Mexico "Governor's Award for Achievement and Excellence in Traditional Folk Music." He is also a recipient of "Premio Hilos Culturales - Traditional Folk Artist Award." Furthermore, Cipriano has been nominated to the "National Heritage Award" four times. He has performed with his son and daughter, (Cipriano Jr. and Felícita) La Familia Vigil, for over 20 years throughout the region and together they have produced numerous recordings. Cipriano is Professor Emeritus at Northern New Mexico Community College in Española, NM and continues to work with elementary school children in the public schools on musical instrumentation and the cultural art traditions of our ancestors. He recently completed Estudio Del Folclor Nuevo Mejicano, a cultural survey of ritual music and written verse styles which capsulize the treasury of Hispano heritage of the Upper Río Grande region. It is scheduled for publication through the University of New Mexico Press to coincide with the observance of New Mexico's Centennial in 2012.