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 (4.71)
Program No. 22854RJ
6 days
Starts at

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 conversos and Crypto-Jews who practiced their faith in secrecy traveled to the New World and finally to New Mexico. Here 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
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 2 miles a day over uneven terrain; standing up to one hour, some stairs. Elevations of 7,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Meet descendants of New Mexico conversos for personal insight.
  • Travel to Taos Pueblo via the High Road and learn about its fascinating history.
  • Explore the history of Santa Fe with an expert on New Mexico’s conversos and Crypto-Jews.

General Notes

For a less active version of this program, please see #11007. It includes similar and complementary educational content and is based in Albuquerque.
Featured Expert
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Maria Apodaca
Maria Apodaca’s family has been in New Mexico since 1598 when Juan Oñate brought the first colonist to the Kingdom of New Mexico. Maria comes from the B'nai Anusim, the people who were forced to convert to the catholic religion in the 14th century. Maria is active as a member of congregation Nahalat Shalom and has served for three years on the Va'ad, the board. She is the event coordinator for the Festvial Djudeo-Espanyol festival, and is a co-leader of the monthly Sephardic dinner.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Maria Apodaca
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Christopher Gibson
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Deborah Rael-Buckley
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