New Mexico
New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews
Learn the history and experience the unique culture of conversos and Crypto-Jews — Spain’s Jewish citizens who were forced to leave their country for not converting to Christianity.
Rating (4.84)
Program No. 11007RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

In 1492, the Alhambra Decree forced Spain’s Jewish citizens to make an unthinkable decision: convert to Christianity or leave the country. Over the next 500 years, the saga of the conversos and Crypto-Jews — who practiced their faith in secrecy — brought them to the New World and finally to New Mexico, where their traditions melded with those of the peoples of the Southwest. In this land of canyons and desert, trace the struggle of New Mexico’s conversos and Crypto-Jews, and consider how their traditions have managed to survive against the odds.
Activity Level
Walking a few blocks over uneven terrain; standing up to one hour, some stairs. Elevations of 7,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Meet a New Mexico converso for personal insight. Visit Acoma Pueblo and learn about its fascinating history. Enjoy a field trip to Santa Fe.

General Notes

For a more active version of this program, please see #22854. It includes the same educational content, but is based in Santa Fe.
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Ron Hart
Ron Duncan Hart is a cultural anthropologist, writer, editor and translator who has focused his studies on Jewish folklore and Sephardic traditions. He has taught anthropology at universities around the world including Georgia State and the University of the Andes in Bogotá, and has worked in South America with UNICEF and the Ford Foundation. The author of more than a dozen books on religion and social change, Ron has received awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and Fulbright, among others.
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Ron Hart
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Maria Apodaca
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Christopher Gibson
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Karen Long
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