29 February 2008


I wonder if the people of Abo thought about the future as much as I do the past. When I visit historic places like this I feel a need to walk among them, to touch the walls, to look out windows and try and imagine the world previous inhabitants saw.

The area around Abo has not changed much. The entire state of New Mexico only has a population of about 2 million people. Small compared to some major metropolitan cities. Metro areas like Albuquerque have changed considerably but many of the rural areas remain as they were 400 years ago...give or take a few satillite dishes.

The Mission of Abo is located in a pass that opens into the Rio Grande Valley which made it a major trading center.

Fray Francisco de Acevedo is credited with enlarging the church built by Fray Francisco Fonte around the 1620s.

I'm out.


Quarai is the smallest of the three monuments and dates back to about 1300 A.D. It's early indian dwellers were farmers and traders. Between 1626 and1628 Fray Juan Guiterrez arrived and began the conversion of the local natives to Christianity. The church was built by pueblo women and children around 1630.
Next up: Abo
I'm out.

28 February 2008


The history of the Salt Missions Trail and the Salinas Pueblos begins about 20,000 years ago...fortunately I will keep this post short and cover roughly the events of 400 years ago.

Before they left the area in the 1670s due to famine and disease, Pueblo Indians forged a stable agricultural society whose members lived in apartment-like complexes. These pueblo's eventually became The Salt Missions established by the Spaniards at Quarai, Abo and Grand Quivira. At one time Grand Quivira was home to over 2000 Indians and Spaniards.

The Salinas Valley became a major trade center and one of the most populous parts of the pueblo world with perhaps 10,000 or more inhabitants in the 17th century.

Soon after Spain had conquered and colonized Mexico, tales of great wealth to the north drew people to New Mexico even though Coronoado's expedition in 1540 had failed to turn up the fabled land of the Quivira or even one city of gold.

Spain finally concluded that New Mexico would never be profitable: however, they wanted a permanent colony. At the crowns expense [and the urging of the Pope] missions were established to Christianize the natives. Don de Onate led a party to do just that in 1598.

Franciscan missionaries were sincere and well-meaning but the overlapping privileges to the church and civil authorities led to conflict between the Franciscans and the governors.

In the end cultural conflict, natural disaster, over growing the land, drought, famine disease and Apache raids killed hundreds of people. The pueblos and missions were abandoned in 1670. The population that was left spread out to various parts of New Mexico

*My apologies. I DID take video footage but I uhm....uh... I kind of erased it thinking I had backed it up. I am a fool.

Next up: Quarai.

I'm out.