CONEJOS COUNTY — With deep roots in the San Luis Valley, Dr. Ronald W. Maestas has completed La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes y Padres, (The Faith of MyFriends, Neighbors, Relatives and Parents) a book on Colorado santeros and santeras, the historical and cultural legacy of Hispanos in New Mexico and southern Colorado.
It honors the ever-popular religious art which has predominated among area Hispanos’ creative instincts and expressions for more than 400 years.
He was born in San Diego, Calif. where his parents Raymond “Celedonio” Maestas and María Refugio Gómez were working.
They both were born and raised in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. His father was born in Capulín and his mother in Mogoté.
Ron Maestas married Mónica Muñiz who was from Capulín.
Delving deep into the roots of the people, Ron has created genealogical articles and books, with a wealth of surnames and family histories to his credit.
During a lengthy career as an educator, he spent most of his working time at New Mexico Highlands University.
He earned a doctorate from Arizona State University and retired as a university professor of management information systems.
The New Mexico Genealogical Society granted him a Primeras Familias Certificate and he was honored by the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Fray Angélico Chávez Chapter for his donation of 25 books on prominent ancestors of Colorado and New Mexico.
Ron has been designated as a scholar historian by the New Mexico state historian’s office.
His genealogical research can be found in the New Mexico State Archives, as well as in his publications.
Now, through long hours of research and meeting with many New Mexico and Colorado santeros and santeras he has provided us with another book on the historical and cultural legacy of Hispanos in New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Lifestyles, diverse social and cultural habits continue to affect these people and their families and friends, who are scattered across the United States, but continue to retain their faith and an important aspect of their culture, a sincere devotion to their patron saints, which are recognized in each small community by the names of their churches.
"To every artist, santero, santera, youth, experienced, master santeros, santeras, your work is beautiful and I will be eternally grateful," says Dr. Maestas.
This book is a compiliation of some of the best artists in New Mexico and southern Colorado and is available through Amazon.