After we returned to Albuquerque from our great trip to Las Vegas, we visited the Petroglyph National Monument.  The Petroglyphs are made by pecking directly on the volcanic rock surface using a chisel and a hammerstone; when the surface of the rock is chipped off, the lighter rock underneath  is exposed, creating the petroglyph.

These ones were made by the native Pueblos and later by the Spanish settlers, they're from the 1300s to the 1680s. They are located in sacred landscapes where they used to perform traditional ceremonies. Through the symbols represented we see the complex culture and religion of the tribes and the huge impact that the arrival of the Spanish had on the pueblo people lifestyle. 

If you are interested in the native american culture, we recommend to visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre. It was opened in 1976 to preserve the culture inheritance of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, through activities, exhibitions, workshops, cooking classes, Native American dances and performances, summer camps and other events. We visited the Centre and were lucky enough to attend some pueblo dances and a talk about the symbolism in Navajo crafts. 
The centre is very active and has many interesting activities, check the Facebook page to learn about all the events. It's a great way to learn more about the tribes and support them. 

And if you really like the Native American culture, the Pow wow is a must! Also known as the Gathering of Nations. The first Gathering of Nations took place in 1983 at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque; it grew beyond expectations over the years, and nowadays the Pow wow which takes place in Albuquerque is the biggest in America. There are more than 700 tribes represented from all over the world (North and South America, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand...). You can find an Indian trader's market, music stages, horse parade, food court, dance contests, Miss Indian World contest... We were lucky enough to be there and it was a real honor to be in attendance. 

I got goosebumps while watching the Grand Entry! The eldest of each tribe led their fellow members into the Arena by the sound of drums.  We read that for them the drum is like a heartbeat.  It was very powerful to watch.

On a sunny day, Manuel's friends Anelius and Mikey invited us to join them on a hike. We went on the La Luz Trail, on the Sandia Mountains (called like that for the red color during the sunsets).   It was so nice to see the beautiful views from the trail and to escape from the city for a moment.  We were in the car a lot during this trip so it was nice to get in touch with nature for a while.  Nothing like that fresh mountain air!

And finally, another thing I really enjoyed about Albuquerque were the parks. The city has so many beautiful parks where people go to walk their dogs or ride their bikes with their children. I love walking, so I did a big tour through many of them, enjoying the fresh air and peaceful ambiance

They look beautiful in the sunset light....

And now we have all these wonderful memories that will stay forever in our hearts. Thank you to Manuel's aunt for making this lovely photo album for us!

And Thank You to all the family and friends we met during our stay for making it so special. New Mexicans are very lovely and warm people, and I can say it feels like home :) I can't wait to go back! 


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