New Mexico’s 19 Pueblo nations will get a shoutout in the United Kingdom’s January-February edition of National Geographic Traveller magazine as one of eight Best of the World destinations with “unmissable cultural experiences.”
The magazine’s entry for the pueblos cites current events.
“In New Mexico, monuments to oppressors of Native Americans — such as Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas — are toppling, as some activists call to honour Po’pay, organizer of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt,” the pueblo entry reads on the magazine’s website. “Although Spain regained control in 1692, the revolt is credited with ensuring the survival of Pueblo culture.”
The magazine singled out 35 destinations worldwide in five categories with a “relevant story to tell.” The lists profile conservation successes, preservation achievements, cultural resilience and “communities overcoming daunting obstacles to thrive despite the pandemic,” a Traveller news release states.
“Our tribal communities contribute a great deal to make New Mexico a unique and desired destination,” said Cody Johnson, a spokesman for the New Mexico Tourism Department. He lauded the pueblo’s mention in the magazine. “We hope it inspires travelers to visit,” he said.
Unlike many Native American tribes that were relocated across the U.S. after the nation was established, New Mexico pueblos and other tribes have been in place for many centuries before the arrival of Europeans.
“It’s not just authentic, it’s the real deal,” said Randy Randall, executive director of Tourism Santa Fe, the city’s convention and visitors bureau. “For many years, the living history of our Native people has been one of the prime motivations for people to come visit Santa Fe.”
The list was compiled by National Geographic Traveller (UK) and 16 local language editions of the magazine.
“It’s always about educating the people that we exist,” said Melvin Juanico, operations manager at the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum at Acoma Pueblo. “We have visitors that say, ‘Where do we see the ruins?’ I say, ‘Mesa Verde or Chaco Culture [National Historical Park]. We don’t have any ruins.’ They just think we are ruins, that we don’t exist anymore.”