Caminos Lejanos: A Walk Through Spanish History


FEB. 24, 2011 — Madison Middle School, Albuquerque, NM — Two hundred and sixty 7th grade students of Social Studies teacher Nick LaRue hosted “Caminos Lejanos (Ancient Roads), A Walk Through Spanish History.”

Students presented displays based on their research on the Spanish impact on New Mexico including wood work, tin work, straw work, Colcha, retablos, bultos, and more. Music was presented and Folklorico dancers performed. A special area was set aside for students to showcase what they had learned about the 200th Coast Artillery.

Mr. LaRue consulted with the New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League and former Director of the Bataan Memorial Military Museum and Library, Rick Padilla, as part of his efforts to guide his students through New Mexico history.

Mr. LaRue and his students were joined by special Host, former New Mexico National Guard Adjutant General, Major General Melvin Montaño, seen at right with the 515th's Ernest Montoya who was given a warm welcome.

Mr. Montoya was impressed with the quality of the student's work on display. He was especially pleased to speak with the students who crowded around him.

When Donald Gallegos pointed out a pre-war photograph on display to one student, asking, “Do you know who that is?” the student did not at first seem to connect. Mr. Gallegos, pointed to the photo and then to Mr. Montoya, and said, “That man in the picture, that's him right there.” The student came alive as he realized, standing in front of him, was “living history.”