22854
New Mexico

New Mexico’s Conversos and Crypto-Jews in Santa Fe

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 (4.9)
Program No. 22854RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,349
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Santa Fe, NM
D
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously). Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Please note that all program activity takes place at an elevation of 7,000 feet; routine activity, such as walking and climbing stairs will be more challenging than at sea level. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At 6:30 p.m. in the hotel meeting room, we’ll have a plated dinner with a choice of entrées, sides and a beverage choice of coffee, tea and water.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
New Mexico & Sephardic History, Plaza Walk, Performance
Santa Fe, NM
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; paved, uneven sidewalks; some stairs. Extent and duration of walking during independent explorations according to personal choice.

Breakfast: On the Mezzanine, we’ll have a breakfast buffet with a rotating selection of dishes such as scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, bagels, hot and cold cereals, toast, pastries and beverage choices of juice, milk, coffee, tea and more.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, the Group Leader—who is also a local expert— will teach us about the history, native peoples, and colonization of New Mexico. We'll also learn about how Santa Fe earned its special nickname (The City Different). Next, a local expert will introduce the fascinating history of conversos and crypto-Jews, dating back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition that began its “investigations” in 1480. In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain signed what is known as the Alhambra Decree ordering Jewish residents in Spanish domains to convert or leave on pain of death. Many fled and some reached the New World.

Lunch: In a popular local dining spot near the Plaza, we’ll order a plated meal off of a menu featuring traditional New Mexican dishes, as well as other fare. There will be beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll head out on foot with our Group Leader to explore the Santa Fe Plaza. This is the historic heart of the city. We'll visit the impressive Romanesque-style Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the lovely Loretto Chapel, and other sites as time permits and learn more about the history of Santa Fe. This will be followed by time for independent explorations. Sites of interest within walking distance of the Plaza include the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors, the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, and the State Capitol Building. The State Capitol building houses the "State Capitol Art Collection," featuring the work of local New Mexican artists, sculptors and photographers. Those willing to travel a few miles down Cerrillos Road (city bus transportation available on Sheridan Street near the Plaza) might enjoy visiting The House of Eternal Return at the Meow Wolf Art Complex. A uniquely Santa Fe experience, The House of Eternal Return is a multimedia, interactive art experience that seeks to immerse their visitors in a fantastical story. Developed with the generous support of Santa Fe resident and author George R.R. Martin—most famous for his Game of Thrones fantasy series— it was an immediate sensation after its opening in March 2016; it has attracted over 1,000,000 adventurers from around the world to date. It's a far cry from traditional Santa Fe style, but is a lot of fun for the open-minded and young-at-heart.

Dinner: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll have buffet dinner with a variety of foods and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will ride to a special performance of Robert Benjamin’s contemporary play "Parted Waters," presented especially for our group by Teatro Paraguas. An international group of actors and artists created Teatro Paraguas in 2004. Although this group’s main mission is to produce bilingual Hispanic/Latino Theater and poetry performances, they will also produce works outside of that mission if they are deemed to be of social and political importance.

DAY
3
Lecture, Meet a Converso, Independent Explorations
Santa Fe, NM
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Extent and duration of walking during independent explorations according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, a local expert will expand our knowledge on the lives of Conversos and Crytpo Jews through an illuminating lecture.

Lunch: In a popular local dining spot, we’ll order a plated meal off of a menu featuring traditional New Mexican dishes, as well as other fare. There will be beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the hotel meeting room, we'll hear from a presenter who will discuss her Converso/Crypto-Jewish heritage and her voyage of discovery into her own personal history. We’ll have the remainder of the afternoon for independent explorations of Santa Fe.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Santa Fe is known for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexican cuisine is a fusion of Native American and Spanish ingredients and techniques. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the Santa Fe Plaza. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Video: Challah Rising in the Desert

DAY
4
Taos Plaza, Taos Pueblo, Rancho de Chimayó
Santa Fe, NM
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Traveling about 150 miles, approximately 3 hours over the course of the day. Walking up to 2 miles; varied terrain. Extent and duration of walking during independent explorations according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll travel to Taos Plaza. On arrival, we'll have time for independent explorations of the area.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We’ll go on a field trip to Taos Pueblo where a native will show us around the village and teach us about the history and culture of the Taos people (if it is open; it sometimes closes with little advance notice for private ceremonies and events. If this happens, we have a back-up activity planned). This picturesque Pueblo at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. The multiple-storied adobe dwellings reflect an ancient culture. Approximately 100 Pueblo residents still live much as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago, without electricity or running water. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. We'll then go to Taos Plaza where we'll have some time for independent explorations of the area before departing for the village of Chimayó.

Dinner: At Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda, we’ll have a plated meal ordered off of a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and a beverage choice of coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase. This restaurant is known for its heirloom chiles (the fruit of the Capsicum plant). Most traditional New Mexican dishes are prepared with either red or green chile; New Mexico's official state question is "Red or green?" (If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!").

Evening: We will return to the hotel by 9:00 p.m. After returning to the hotel, the rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
5
Museum Hill, Free Time, Wrap-Up Session
Santa Fe, NM
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; varied terrain with inclines. Standing up to 1 hour; limited opportunities for sitting at museum. Extent and duration of walking during independent explorations/free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll enjoy a presentation by an internationally-renowned local artist whose work has been inspired by her Crypto-Jewish heritage. Then we'll ride to Museum Hill for a self-directed field trip to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from the earliest times to modern day, scrupulously documented and beautifully displayed. Most of the work is from the Southwest. The Museum of International Folk Art hosts the largest collection of international folk art in the world. Some of the items we may see include ceremonial dress and masks, furniture, and Lloyd Cotsen’s Neutrogena collection.

Lunch: At a local restaurant near the Plaza, we’ll have a lunch buffet with a variety of foods and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Hotel buffet. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather for a wrap-up session to review the program and what we’ve experienced together. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Santa Fe, NM
B

Activity note: Hotel checkout 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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