Get Your Las Golondrinas Mask!

We have a variety of masks for you to show your Las Golondrinas pride! These masks are $10 each and only available for a limited time. CLICK HERE and shoot Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections and Museum Shop Manager, an email with the number of masks you want.

Please indicate Adult or Child size mask and color—black, grey or red. Children’s masks are only available in red. Thanks for supporting Las Golondrinas and staying safe!

Red Golondrinas Masks
red mask
Gray Golondrinas masks
gray mask
Black Golondrinas Masks
black mask

Savers FUNDrive is Coming!

SAVE Your Spring Cleaning Items!

This August, we will be collecting for a SAVERS FUNdraiser — the more pounds we donate on September 2, the more funds we raise! We will collect clothing, small household items and other items (see graphic below for acceptable items).

Acceptable Items


Thursdays, August 13, 20 and 27 from 2:00–4:00pm
and on
Saturday, August 30,
from 10:00am – noon

Please designate a pile of your donations for Las Golondrinas,and bring them to us — a big green garbage bag is recommended for your donation!

….and More Giving!

We are fortunate to have a private foundation that matches ALL GIFTS to our annual fund and our membership, so whatever you choose to give is automatically doubled!

If you have questions about any of the initiatives above, click HERE to talk with Jackie Camborde, our Director of Development. She can help you figure out the best way for you to give.

CLICK HERE to give to our Annual Fund or renew your membership now. Heartfelt thanks from all of us for your continued support.

EL Rancho de las Golondrinas is BEST OF SANTA FE!

Las Golondrinas is proud to announce that we are the recipients of two awards in the Santa Fe Reporter’s BEST OF SANTA FE 2020 competition. The awards recieved are:

THIRD PLACE: Best Lecture Series
THIRD PLACE Best Non-Profit

Many, many thanks to all of you who voted and helped make this possible. We are both thrilled and humbled to be in such esteemed company in both categories and are grateful for the community support. You can pick up your copy of the Best of Santa Fe this week, and a glossier, magazine version will come out in August.

Rainbows Over New Mexico

by Laura Gonzales, Education & Volunteer Manager

“A storm on the Llano is beautiful…A feeling of gladness comes over one as the heavens open to bathe Mother Earth. Only those ever watching and waiting for the rain can feel the rapture it brings.”
—Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, We Fed Them Cactus

Rainbows in New MexicoEvery New Mexican knows there’s nothing quite like afternoon storm clouds rolling in and quenching the sun-baked earth with cool summer rain. Especially appreciated during periods of drought, nothing is more anticipated than monsoon season and the relief it brings to the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico has withstood several periods of drought with some of the worst years on record being the 1870s–80s, the 1930s, and the 1950s (arguably the worst). With little precipitation since winter, much of the state has been thrust into drought conditions again, so let’s hope for a generous monsoon season!

“Monsoon,” from the Arabic “mausim,” means “season,” and since New Mexico’s monsoon runs from June through September, perhaps it’s fair to say we are currently in the middle of our “season” season. This natural phenomena occurs when a wind shift over a region is accompanied by moisture. For New Mexico, if the shift is good, it accounts for nearly half of the state’s annual precipitation.

As beautiful and necessary as they are, summer storms have their share of hazards. If you can hear thunder, you’re probably within striking distance of lightning. While a lightning show is mesmerizing to the eye, they can be deadly. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports roughly 25 million lightning ground strikes in the United States each year! Since 1959, nearly 100 people in New Mexico have been killed, ranking the state 21st in lightning deaths. Did you know that the air within a strike can heat up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s hotter than the sun! One strike can generate enough electricity to power a light bulb continuously for 3 months.

While less frequent than lightning storms, floods can be even more devastating. In New Mexico, 1941 was the year “it didn’t stop raining.” Flooding washed out bridges and roads, destroyed structures and farmland, and even severed gas lines. One report stated that the flood forced a woman into a tree, which she shared with 3 rattlesnakes for 12 hours. She stated “the snakes were there first, and despite knocking 2 of them off with a stick, they both promptly climbed back.” That year, 28 people died from weather-related deaths, 24 in the flood, and the state saw an average of 26.25 inches of rain — double the normal average — making it the wettest year on record.

The best way to avoid lightning and flash floods during monsoon season is by staying alert. Keep up with weather reports, avoid seeking refuge under trees or standing in an open field, don’t use a corded telephone, avoid metal fences, and, especially important in New Mexico, be aware if walking or playing around an arroyo. Take precautions and enjoy the beauty of the storm from a safe place. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!


Creative Ways You Can Support Las Golondrinas!

Here are some ways you can support Las Golondrinas that are a little unorthodox — see if one might appeal to you!


SAVE Your Spring Cleaning Items!

In August, we will be collecting for a SAVERS FUNDraiser — the more pounds we donate on September 2, the more funds we raise! We will collect gently-used clothing, linens, jewelry, shoes, accessories (such as belts and purses), and small household goods. Please designate a pile of your donations for Las Golondrinas,and we’ll let you know when to bring them to us — a big green garbage bag is recommended for your donation!

Volunteer Julia GomezRenew your Membership/Become a Las Golondrinas Member

Members get free admission to the museum every day that we are open, including festivals and special events! Membership fees help support our education and outreach programs and give you access to special members-only activities, lectures and more. CLICK HERE to join or renew your membership today!

Host a Facebook Fundraiser

Underneath your name on Facebook is a series of buttons — one is labeled SUPPORT A NONPROFIT. You can click that option and create a personal statement about why you support Las Golondrinas, and invite your friends to support as well. In 4–6 weeks, we will receive a check from Facebook for the full amount of funds raised! Many thanks to those of you who have heeded this call — so far, we have raised about $1,500 from Facebook fundraisers. If you need assistance in setting up a Facebook Fundraiser, email Jackie Camborde, our Director of Development.

churro sheepAdopt an Animal

Did you know that it costs approximately $300 a year to feed, house and care for just one of our churro sheep, burros or goats? If you want to have a direct impact on our most popular ranch residents,we hope you will ADOPT an ANIMAL today — look to your left for our latest addition, these adorable baby lambs! Your name will appear on signage near our churro sheep pen this summer,and we’ll send you a photo of some of our menagerie!

All gifts to our annual fund go to support all that we do at Las Golondrinas.

We are fortunate to have a private foundation that matches ALL GIFTS to our annual fund as well, so whatever you choose to give is automatically doubled!

If you have questions about any of the initiatives above, email Jackie Camborde, our Director of Development. She can help you figure out the best way for you to give.

You can also contribute to our Annual Fund on this website. Heartfelt thanks from all of us for your continued support.

Las Golondrinas at the Movies — Part 2

by Jackie Camborde, Director of Development

Spending more time with Netflix these days? We just purchased an outdoor projector to have some warm evening movie nights outside — my kids are counting the days until it arrives! One of our first movie nights will definitely include a Las Golondrinas title — here’s a few that were filmed at the museum for you to check out!

Fools Rush InFools Rush

starring Salma Hayek, Matthew Perry
Three months after a one-night stand with Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) in Las Vegas, New York City real estate developer Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) learns she is pregnant. Despite being a terminal bachelor, Alex is drawn to Isabel, and the pair marries. Hilarity ensues in this tale of unlikely love. A fluffy escape of a movie.
Amazon Prime, Starz





Jane Got a Gun

Jane Got A Gun

starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton
With help from her boozing ex-lover (Joel Edgerton), a woman (Natalie Portman) tries to defend her injured husband (Noah Emmerich) from a vengeful outlaw (Ewan McGregor) and his gang of killers in the Old West. This one is intense — maybe pair it with one of the comedy reviewed here?
Hulu, Amazon Prime

Tiger Eyes

Tiger Eyes

starring Willa Holland, Kambiz Aghdazi
Forced by her grieving mother to move from her home in New Jersey, to the strange town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Davey doesn’t know how to fit in.

When Davey meets Wolf, a mysterious Native American climber exploring the surrounding canyons, she feels he is able to see right into her most wild and secret emotions. Their relationship brings Davey back from the edge as she finds the courage to embark on the first great adventure of her life. The film marks the first major motion picture adaptation from the work of bestselling Children’s/Young Adult author Judy Blume.
YouTube, Amazon Prime

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul

starring Bob Oderkirk, Michael McKean
This TV show, the prequel to the cult hit Breaking Bad, follows the life of controversial lawyer Saul Goodman. The fifth season features two episodes with gorgeous shots of the museum. Be careful with this one — it’s completely addictive — one day we watched six episodes in a row!
AMC, Netflix

Stay well, and happy viewing!

Las Golondrinas Heroes Make Masks, Clean Up Los Pinos

Liz Trujillo
Liz Trujillo

To say that our volunteers are itching to get out of quarantine and back to the museum is an understatement. The Las Golondrinas staff has been coming up with some creative ways that they can do some good and keep busy.

Liz Trujillo masks

Longtime volunteer Liz Trujillo has been firing up her sewing machine and making masks for essential workers. To date, she has made about two dozen, and we are looking into donating them where they can be best used. “I was so pleased to participate in this project. I hope the wearers of these masks enjoy good health and are protected from COVID19,” Trujillo says. She even made a mask with Colcha embroidery (see photo). Thanks, Liz, for your creativity, skill and generosity!

Los Pines Road cleanup
Los Pinos photo credit: Olivia Harlow, Santa Fe New Mexican

Meanwhile, on June 23, a group of stalwart Las Golondrinas staff and volunteers partnered with staff from our neighbor, Sunrise Springs, to pitch in and clean up Los Pinos Road. Due to furloughs and more people eating in their cars, there was a significant amount of trash and debris to pick up — almost 40 volunteers and staff participated and helped clean up the neighborhood. Thanks to Santa Fe County for supplying vests for volunteers and trash bags, and for picking them all up!

If you would like more information on making masks or being included with community outreach projects, email, Laura Gonzales, Volunteer and Education Manager.

Curator’s Corner: George McJunkin, Unsung Archaeology Hero

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections

George McJunkin

George McJunkin was born a slave in Midway, Texas. When he was about 10, the Civil War ended and he and his family were freed. He was born into a ranch and cowboy life and spent most of his life in the saddle. Mr. McJunkin worked at several ranches in Texas before finally settling in New Mexico.

The cowboys he grew up around taught him to read and write. As a young man he also taught himself to speak Spanish, play the guitar and violin. He loved history and archaeology and that love would play a pivotal role in Mr. McJunkin’s incredible find.

In 1908, the small New Mexico town of Folsom (near Raton) experienced a horrible flood that killed 18 of its citizens. After this terrible event, McJunkin was on horseback assessing the damage done to the fences and arroyos at the Thomas Owens Pitchfork Ranch where he worked. Upon entering an arroyo named Dead Horse, he noticed something odd. Huge rib bones were sticking out of the side of the arroyo and since George knew his archaeology, he knew they weren’t from any modern animal species.

McJunkin was correct; the bones were from a species called Bison antiquus, an animal that had died off with the mega fauna at the end of Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. But even more striking amongst those ribs were projectile points, clearly put there by a group of humans.

He knew what he had just discovered. At the time of his incredible find, the archaeological establishment thought humans had only been on this continent for several thousands of years. Finding a point stuck in a bison that’s been gone for 10,000 years is proof that someone’s data is wrong.

McJunkin tried for years to get archaeologists to come see the site, to no avail. Finally, ten years later a man named Harold Cook from the Denver Museum of Natural History came to Folsom and did some exploratory digging with George. McJunkin had sent projectile points and some bone samples to Cook several years earlier.

Sadly, a full blown archaeological expedition was not launched at the Folsom site until after McJunkin’s passing in 1922. If it had not been for George’s passion for archaeology and keen eye, it may have taken much longer for us to discover that people had been on this continent for over 10,000 years.

Today, the type of point McJunkin found amongst those bison bones is called a Folsom Point, named for the little town of Folsom. It is the earliest type of projectile point found in both North and South America, and (if you ask me) one of the most striking. I have never found one personally, but always said if I ever do you’ll hear my holler from miles around.

In 2019, McJunkin was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. There are small exhibits dedicated to him at the Denver Museum of Natural History and the New Mexico History Museum. You can visit McJunkin’s grave at the Folsom Cemetery. The last time I went to visit him, there were fresh flowers on his grave, I gave him some more. I guess someone out there loves George as much as I do.

History Herald: Smokey Bear, a New Mexico Hero!

by Laura Gonzales, Education & Volunteer Manager

Hello from your History Herald!

Smokey BearDid you know that in 1950, in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, crews discovered a major wildfire driven by strong wind? As the crew battled to contain the blaze they received a report of a lone bear cub seen wandering near the fire line. Suddenly, the firefighters were caught directly in the path of the fire storm. They survived by lying face down on a rock bed for over an hour as the fire burned past them. Nearby, the little cub had not fared as well. He took refuge in a tree that became completely charred, escaping with his life, but also badly burned paws and hind legs. The crew removed the cub from the tree and a rancher among the crew agreed to take him home. A New Mexico Department of Game and Fish ranger heard about the cub and drove to the rancher’s home to help get the cub on a plane to Santa Fe, where his burns were treated and bandaged.

News about the little bear spread swiftly throughout the state. Soon, the United Press and Associated Press broadcasted his story nationwide and many responded, inquiring about the cub’s recovery. The state game warden wrote to the chief of the National Forest Service, offering to present the cub to the agency as long as the cub would be dedicated to a conservation and wildfire prevention publicity program. The cub was soon on his way to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., becoming the living symbol we know and love, Smokey Bear. Smokey received numerous gifts of honey, and so many letters that they dedicated a private zip code just for him!


He remained at the zoo until his death in 1976, when he was returned to his home to be buried at the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, New Mexico, where he continues to be a wildfire prevention legend. In 1952, the popular anthem was written, and due to the song’s popularity and the addition of “the” between his name, Smokey Bear has been called “Smokey the Bear” by many adoring fans, but, in actuality, his name never changed. He’s still simply, Smokey Bear.

Now that summer is in full swing and outdoor adventure beckons, please remember to enjoy the outdoors responsibly so that together we may protect this beautiful state and all who call her home!

Learn more about Smokey at

Sources and Resources for at-home learning:

Books About New Mexico Heroes

The Life and Legend of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy

The Life and Legend of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy

by Franklin Folsom
This book is a great introduction to the history of black cowboys in New Mexico. McJunkin was a former slave who went on to make an instrumental archaelogical find in northern New Mexico — read more about this amazing man in our Curator’s Corner this week. Although this book is written for a young adult audience, it’s a great read for all ages.

Jewish Pioneers of New Mexico

Jewish Pioneers of New Mexico

by Thomas Jahne

Due to unrest and discrimination in Europe, Jews began immigrating to America in large numbers during the nineteenth century. The first two waves of immigration that brought Jews to New Mexico were German men in the 1840’s and 50’s, and Eastern Europeans coming with the railroad in the 1880’s.

This book tells of the adventures that unfolded for young Jewish merchants, tradesmen, and laborers, who were determined to build a successful life in the west. This is a fascinating read and a true rags-to-riches story as many of the families written about here became some of New Mexico’s most prominent, productive citizens.

Leslie Marmon Silko — Storyteller


by Leslie Marmon Silko

An incredibly woven book of photography, poetry and ceremony, Storyteller is a biography like no other. Silko blends tales of her childhood in Laguna Pueblo, her Amer-European education and her Native American education, her family and her religious tradition all against the desert backdrop of her home.

This book is beautiful, featuring incredible black and white photographs of her homeland. Silko also draws from Inuit culture, where she spent time while writing her critically-acclaimed book Ceremony.

This blending of narrative styles, photos, cultures, traditions and lifeways makes for an incredibly engaging read.

Storyteller won worldwide acclaim when it was published in the early 80’s and is now considered a classic of Native American literature and biography.