Honoring Seniors (22)

Saturday, 25 August 2012 13:51

Connie Hernandez--A Santa Fé Icon

Contributed by
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Connie Hernandez
Photo by Lisa Law at Rancho de Chimayo, Saturday July 28th

The public is invited to celebrate the life of Connie Hernandez
This Saturday, August 25th, 11:00 to 4:00
This celebration is being sponsored by Voces de Santa Fé
Hope to see you all there!

The following is the write-up to the New Mexican by Jaima Chevalier:


"Voces de Santa Fé Hosts Community Event Honoring Beloved Santa Fean Connie Hernandez.

"(SANTA FE) Voces de Santa Fé announces its sponsorship of a community celebration marking the 87th birthday of Consuelo "Connie" Hernandez, beloved Santa Fean. The event will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 529 Old Santa Fe Trail from 11 am to 4 pm, open house style. Attendees will be treated to mariachi music, birthday cake, and an opportunity to record their favorite memories of Hernandez on video. Local officials and dignitaries will present Hernandez with proclamations, certificates, and other forms of recognition for her 47 years of profound community service. Hernandez is a past recipient of a "Ten Who Made a Difference " award and she has been named as one of the Governor's Outstanding New Mexico Women. Her deep ties to Santa Fe are everywhere; in the key junctures of birth, marriage, and death, Santa Feans find solace and comfort at her door. Truly a "woman of the gente," Hernandez's personal history reflects people from every walk of life, and that stroll brings back Hernandez's recollections of a past peopled by luminaries such as Fray Angelico Chavez, Witter Brenner, Gustav Baumann, and photographer Laura Gilpin, who captured Hernandez in a silver gelatin print taken circa 1950.

"Hernandez is a true Santa Fe icon. Her story has been the subject of books, doctoral dissertations, blogs, and magazine and newspaper articles, in large part due to her family's long history of community service. For over 250 years, her ancestors have served in various official capacities in service to Santa Fe's La Conquistadora, Our Lady of Peace. Hernandez herself served as sacristana to the religious statue. Hernandez's memories of childhood include feeding itinerant workers and hauling water up to the Carmelite Monastery. Her brother Dr. Joe Hernandez was one of the founders of the Santa Fe Community College. Through her Old Santa Fe Trail Giftshop (the site of her childhood home), "Connie" as she is known to all, has dispensed wisdom, spiritual advice, tourist directions, and thousands of blessed St. Benedict medals for over 47 years. She has donated auction items to countless organizations (Girl Scouts, Acequia Madre school, La Union Protectiva, Elks, Eagles, FOP, and the Spanish Colonial Museum, to name a few). For families undergoing the pain of separation from their loved ones headed to military conflict, she has given away rosaries, prayer cards, and medals. For those who have lost a loved one, she has donated rosaries, milagros, and other items for services. People visit her shop from all over the world, including Italians who make their way to 529 Old Santa Fe Trail to see the woman who has maintained a shrine to Padre Pio for over 40 years. She sends donations from the shrine to San Giovanni Rotondo. Groups from Spain, Japan, and Australia have all beaten a path to her door, along with a nun from Paris who makes regular visits.

"People of all faiths have all found something to love about their visit to the store. It contains an enchanting collection of New Mexican memorabilia, native art pieces, and mementos of times gone by. In order to preserve New Mexican heritage, Hernandez supports many of the santeros from northern New Mexico by collecting their work over many decades. Examples of works by the Ortegas, David Alvarez, Larry Jacquez and many others line the walls of her store. Many pieces are not for sale--she preserves them as examples of New Mexico's ancient art forms. She herself learned to carve bas-relief from one of the itinerant carvers who worked on the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe. Several of her own pieces adorn the walls of the store.

"Recognizing Hernandez's many contributions to the community is an example of Voces de Santa Fé’s goal to honor local people and to provide a forum for them to tell their own stories in their own words. Voces de Santa Fé was created by a group of native Santa Feans with a shared focus of preserving the family histories of the area. Members of the group represent a wide spectrum of diverse voices, but with a unanimity of purpose. The group's overarching theme, "telling our history in our own voices," is captured and memorialized on the vocesdesantafe.org interactive website, which contains fascinating stories of the descendants of those who shaped the area's rich history. Anyone with an interest in personal local history is invited to join this site's important dialogue, and to contribute material in the form of interviews, photos, film, audio, maps, documents, artwork and other content. An educational nonprofit website this is a collaborative project developed by Mike Lord, Maria Montez-Skolnik, Jim Baca, Pete Scott, Stephen Earnest and Adelina Ortiz y Hill.

"Voces invites everyone to share their stories and those of their ancestors and families, to leave a legacy of these lives to future generations. For additional information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"Voces members Virginia Vigil and Maria Montez Skolnik will emcee the event. Voces member Stephen Earnest presents mariachi music performed by Mariachi Sonidos del Monte. Officials of Santa Maria de La Paz school will be on hand to recognize Hernandez with a bronze plaque expressing the school's appreciation for a gift of a large art piece made by her and donated to the school by a collector.

"Members of the public are encouraged to use public transportation and parking off-site (PERA building and Roundhouse lots)."
Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:35

Three Santa Fé Treasures

Contributed by

Connie Hernandez, Grace Davis and Adelina Ortiz de Hill.  Inspirations for Voces de Santa Fé.

Photo by Mike Lord

April 21, 2012

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