ANTONITO — From San Luis to Antonito and towns in between, there are organizations and individuals fighting to preserve the history of the San Luis Valley. One such individual is Rick Vigil. He and his wife Andrea, both from Antonito, have been sharing the history of the people, towns and churches of the San Luis Valley for more than 20 years through their company, Down to Earth Media.
They have a series of DVDs documenting the history of the area. They also give presentations in schools and churches.
Rick feels the best way to learn history is through the people who lived it. Sharing one's story creates a powerful connection between families and communities. He feels everyone has "a story to tell."
Father Sergio Robles was a staunch supporter and instrumental in helping Rick document history because he knew "if we lose our traditions, we lose our identity."
One DVD tells the history of Our Lady of the Guadalupe Church in Conejos, considered the oldest church in Colorado.
The history of the Valley is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith, which has continued to sustain people to this day.
Rick's own history is rooted in faith and music. Rick’s father owned the popular dance hall The Golden Nugget, in Antonito. He was also a member of the band, Los Vigilantes.
One DVD tells of Father Alonzo Muniz from Capulin who a musician, veteran of World War II, and later priest was. He gives testimony of growing up in the Valley. It was dedicated to Rick's father. Another DVD is dedicated to his mother, a woman of strong Catholic faith.
Although currently living in Golden, Rick comes often to Antonito to see his family. For more information, on Vigil visit online downtoearthmedia.org.