There are some American places where history overlaps and becomes so condensed, so close and nearly visible, that each layer is almost like its own separate lens
Lorraine Gomez grew up in such a place
Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the world’s highest alpine basin, and one of its oldest, created by the great river that formed it thousands of years ago in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Valley follows the Rio Grande south to New Mexico, where the river tumbles over the border and the two join the Camino Real in its long journey to Mexico City.
Gomez’s connection to the 120-by-75 mile valley stretches back to the Spanish farmers who settled the land before the Mexican Revolution. The communities they established have retained a strong and continuous Hispanic identity for generations (the term “Hispanic” refers specifically to Spanish-Americans in this region.)
Gomez is so deeply rooted in this valley that it defines the heart of her own identity as well, remaining her central reference point, regardless of whether or not she happens to be living there.
View original post 1,214 more words