The long-awaited summer has arrived…. and now it seems to be evaporating! There are many events occurring here in the Cuchara Valley. We are blessed with an abundance of amazing talent. We still have high hopes of being able to host the much (and deservedly) acclaimed author Kent Nerburn in a workshop in Cuchara September 14th and 15th. With group participation, he will share is insights on Native American spirituality, love of nature and place, and the core of our creative selves.The total number of participants is limited to 40 so that there can be an intimacy in sharing Mr. Nerburn as well as the other facilitators in making this a most meaningful event. Deadline for registrations is August 1st. Please register now before things fill up, or contact us if you would like more details.
Join us at the Francisco Fort Museum in La Veta Colorado
306 S. Main St. this weekend. Free admission to the museum and events. Great Vendors & Great Food.
SATURDAY JUNE 8TH – 10AM TO 5PM
Opening; Festival Blessing, Drumming
Raising of the tipi
-Traditional Hispanic music
Tomas of Atzalan
Shelley & Fabian
Storyteller; La LLorona
Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle
7pm at La Veta Mercantile: $18 in advance, $20 at the door
Purchase Tickets Here
SUNDAY JUNE 9TH – 10AM TO 4PM
Opening, Festival Blessing, Drumming
Drumming, Flute, Dancing
Hip Hop Kids Crew
Shelley & Fabian
Taking down the tipi
Drumming closing ceremony
Saturday & Sunday at La Veta Library
11am | Sean Wells – Traditional Hispano Art/Day of the Dead
12pm | Celinda Kaelin – Native Americans of Pikes Peak area
1pm | David Behrens – Native American Story told through Art
2pm | Jason Younis Y Delgado – Tinsmithing through 5 Generations
Will be joining us at this year’s festival.
Celinda Reynolds Kaelin is a poet, author, lecturer, and ethnohistorian who is privileged to work and study with indigenous Elders and spiritual leaders from over seventy First Nations.
Celinda is a Cherokee grandmother who has dedicated her life to the healing of the Sacred Hoop, and follows the Lakota spiritual traditions as a Pipe Carrier and a Sun Dancer. She has completed fifteen Sun Dances with the Lakota. She is proud to be an adopted member of both the Lakota Nation and the Ute Nation.
She is a member of the World Council of Elders, and has traveled extensively with these traditional spiritual Elders, performing Earth healing ceremonies in North and South America. Kaelin is adjunct professor at Colorado College, and is the author of six books, including, Journey Song: A spiritual Legacy of the American Indian (Four Directions, 1998), Pikes Peak Backcountry (Caxton, 1999), American Indians of the Pikes Peak Region (Arcadia, 2008), and Ute Legends (Caxton, 2017).
The Huajatolla Heritage Foundation is honored to announce the addition of two more Award-Winning Artists to this year’s festival. Sean Wells & Jason Younis y Delgado.
Sean’s Day of the Dead themed artwork has been featured on internationally distributed beer labels (Cerveza de los Muertos), nationally distributed wine labels (La Catrina Vino) and New Mexico Lottery Scratchers for which she received a national award for top scratcher design. She is an award-winning 5th generation Spanish Colonial artist and juried member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in the retablo category and proud to show annually at the prestigious Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe New Mexico alongside her award-winning tinsmith brother Jason Younis y Delgado where they share their unique collaborations. Through art and education, Sean aspires to bring an appreciation for the Hispanic traditions and culture of Northern New Mexico to a broader audience. Sean was most honored to receive “Best Visual Artist” in 2016 by the readers of Albuquerque the Magazine.
Jason Younis y Delgado, a Santa Fe Native, was taught the art of tinsmithing by his Grandmother and Great Uncle from an early age. Today, he continues the craft of five generations, participating in local shows and demonstrations. He also teaches classes through local parks and the Albuquerque Senior Centers.
Huajatolla Heritage Foundation is very pleased to have this important movie come to our area. It follows the book very closely and carries the same significant impact in the helping to improve understanding of many Native American issues.
It is particularly timely as HHF is hosting Kent Nerburn right here in Huerfano County September 14th and 15th. It is very exciting to have this impactful artist and author come to our area. Representatives from HHF will be present at both showings to answer questions you may have about the upcoming workshop.
The worm moon in Native American tradition—occurring no less on Spring Equinox, colors the world with feelings of hope and change. After last years horrific fires all our moisture is welcomed, but winter weary bones are really appreciating the spring like sunshine. There is a hill that you come down into the village of La Veta. It is fascinating around equinox time, both spring and fall, as the flora changes so rapidly it is almost like seeing time lapse photography in real time. The changes occur so rapidly with the grass greening up, the fields become peppered with little black calves and the tree buds start to swell. It is a welcome sight!
There also were many good things that were happening behind the scenes with Huajatolla Heritage Foundation. The Festival is continuing to shape up to be an extraordinary event. Our second major event for the summer started taking definitive shape with the confirmation by the amazing author, Kent Nerburn (Neither Wolf nor Dog and many more) that he will facilitate a workshop September 14 and 15. He has suggested a preliminary title for the seminar/workshop/event “The Mindful Eye: Looking at the World as a Work of Art.”. We are working on many details, but registration information will be posted here as soon as available. Visit his site at
The other exciting happening is our partnering with the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth to offer both classes in art and dance. Sharona Whitley will be offering art classes that explore cultural connections. Ashely Vandergriff will be offering a 10-week hip-hop dance class open to any youth in Huerfano County between 8-18. Both of these classes will be offered for free thanks to our generous Art in Society grant. For more information on Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth you can find them at
Really exciting things are building for a wonderful summer of great offerings. The Hujatolla Heritage Festival is set for June 8th and 9th. This year we are working closely with the Francisco Fort Museum and will hold the Festival on the Museum grounds. And what a fine Festival it is shaping up to be two full days of great guests, artists, vendors and presenters all coming together for a memorable event. Please mark it on your calendar. If you are an out of town guest, you might want to consider making your lodging reservations now. The La Veta-Cuchara Chamber of Commerce has a complete list of lodging hosts (https://lavetacucharachamber.com/visitor-info/where-to-stay/)
There will be events occurring all day long on the museum grounds including a performance by Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontanelle. Shelley and Fabian are multiple award-winning performers that charm local and international audiences with their electrifying performances. Not only will they both days in the museum courtyard. They will also be performing in a full concert at 7PM on Saturday evening (June 8th) at the La Veta Mercantile. We will be offering more information about Shelley and Fabian soon, but if you can’t wait check out their website: https://shelleymorningsongonline.com . We are so fortunate they are coming to our community. You are in for a treat.
Good things are happening! Great things are coming! Even though the calendar says we are in early spring, ten inches of fresh snow out my window reminds me that winter is still desperately wanting to stay. What a long, cold, snowy winter it has been. It is so refreshing to be thinking about all the good things that are going to be happening when our days are longer, the sun is shining, and we are basking in glorious warmth under turquoise skies; plus, the great things that will be occurring all summer long.
Huajatolla Heritage Foundation (HHF) has been working diligently to bring many events to Huerfano County in the upcoming season. Last year was so difficult with our massive wild fire that threatened our town and forever changed the landscape that we loved, but perhaps took for granted. The fire, the second largest in Colorado history, necessitated the canceling of Huajatolla Heritage Festival. That was such a difficult decision. Now, just as the forest is rejuvenating, we too are busy planning for a fresh start.
Many changes. First, the date has been moved to June 8 and 9. We felt the earlier date would offer several advantages and be a fine way to start the summer. Secondly, we have also changed the location to the grounds of Francisco Fort Museum here in La Veta. The partnership with the Museum is so mutually beneficial in working together to promote our mission of cultural literacy. Our format will essentially be the same with both Native American and Hispano artists represented both days with stage performances, educational offerings and great vendors. This year we will even be offering an evening concert at the neighboring La Veta Mercantile to not only showcase an outstanding performer, but to also be a benefit so we can continue our good work. Negotiations are in place and that performer will be announced soon. It will be two full days of events that will continue to honor Native American and Hispano cultures through art, education and presentation! What a great way to start the many events of the summer!
Much to share. This is the place to learn about all the exciting things that are lining up to make 2019 a most memorable year in offering a wide variety of events! Come enjoy, learn and play with us!!!!