The term “Mestizo” refers to a person of mixed racial or ethnic ancestry, namely European and Native American descent in the American Southwest.

As a Santa Fe native, it’s important for me to chime in on the culture of the Mestizos…being that I am Mestizo myself.

I used to participate in Fiestas de Santa Fe, a celebration of the “peaceful reconquest” of Santa Fe by Spaniards led by Don Diego Devargas, and I’ve always wondered how we could live in harmony with such a dark history of conquest and conflict.

Others have shared my doubts around the peaceful nature of these events, and in the last couple of years the Fiestas de Santa Fe has been protested by numerous Native American groups and activists who believe it should be remembered, but not celebrated or reenacted on the streets of Santa Fe.

A close friend of mine once said “tearing down statues is just as historical as putting them up.

” Mestizo is a piece to support this conversation of reconciliation.

How do we keep our bloody past in the past and move forward together in tolerance?

We should be aware of our history and cherish our heritage, but it is time to acknowledge the truth that today most of us are quite literally family: a mix of the beauty and darkness of our past come to life.

Recently, I have received an outpouring of support from Santa Fe locals who would love to see a mural of Mestizo in Santa Fe, as a sign of peace throughout our intertwining cultures.

Please share your voice! Let me know your thoughts, ideas, and recommendations for mural locations.


Challenge • Inspire • Unite

Alberto Elias Zalma