StoryCorps Door-to-Door gathered interviews for the National Teachers Initiative in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Between encounters with green chili for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Facilitator Mitra Bonshahi and I recorded stories about New Mexicans’ experiences with education in preparation for Albuquerque’s Teacher Town Hall event. For two days, KNME, Albuquerque’s public TV station, played host to a rotating cast of teachers and students. After their StoryCorps interviews, participants also had the opportunity to record video reflections on their interviews with youth radio station Generation Justice. (more…)
StoryCorps Door-to-Door set out to record the stories of yet another one of the best museums in the country: Explora, a science center and children’s museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Sandia Mountains were a welcome change from the city skyline and when we stepped into the building, we knew why Explora earned a National Medal Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Simply put, Explora is an amazing place to play and learn for children of all ages.
Like many of our participants, kindergarten teacher Mariam Martinez remembered when she first developed an interest in science. During a third grade field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City, a museum docent talked with the children about the Eskimo people and asked the class to look for an element missing from the Eskimos’ jackets. Mariam told her friend Sara of her classmates’ reactions to the observations she shared with the docent. “Everybody looked at me like how did you know that. And I thought, my observations are good. So, that was my initial interest in science, making observations.”
As a kindergarten teacher in Albuquerque, Mariam helps her students make their own scientific observations. Sometimes the students visit Explora where they can touch the exhibits, play with the parts and learn about the science that surrounds us all.
In the past month, people from all over New Mexico have come to StoryCorps’ Mobile Booth in Albuquerque to record a conversation.
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In Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Chimayó, people have talked about family, history, and heritage in all kinds of ways. We’ve heard from teachers, mothers, master adobe builders, curanderas, pueblo leaders, activists, artists, and beyond. People have talked about having children, getting married, building homes, red chile, green chile, migration, genealogy, and living in New Mexico for 12 generations. They’ve talked about losing loved ones, maintaining culture, and finding strength in family and friends when times are hard.
On Friday, June 4th the MobileBooth West team headed north from Albuquerque for a day of recording at the Chimayó Museum in Chimayó, New Mexico.
As participants from Chimayó and nearby Cundiyo arrived to record, many recognized relatives in the photographs hung on the museum’s walls. The building itself is a traditional adobe structure that opens on to the Plaza del Cerró–a Spanish colonial settlement established in 1740. An irrigation ditch or acequia runs by the front of the museum and is part of the system of waterways still used from colonial times to the present to irrigate the land around Chimayó.
A longtime mayordomo or caretaker for one of these acequia‘s, Samuel Vigil, recorded a conversation with his grandson, Mario. At 85, Samuel continues to be the volunteer organizer for the cleaning and maintenance of the collectively owned acequia. Mario grew up with his grandfather in Cundiyo and asked Samuel to share stories about his own childhood in the small town. Mario currently works as a teacher while living on the family’s land in Cundiyo where he plans to stay and carry on the traditions he was raised with.