Meet Volunteer Mark Wingert!

Volunteer Mark Wingert

“I was born in El Paso, TX.  My appreciation for Western history began with my mom. On Sundays, we would leap into the family International Scout to begin a journey visiting ghost towns or bygone landmarks scattered throughout the Southwest. While traveling to our destination, mom would ride shotgun, reading stories of the past about the place we would soon visit. Upon arrival, mom’s stories would bring long empty buildings back to life, even to the point where we could visualize people walking down the streets.

My family has always been proud of their heritage, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, participating in western expansion through the railroads, and being part of New Mexico commerce since the 1920s. All of this has inspired me to learn more about history.

Just like mom bringing history to life, El Rancho de las Golondrinas gives the opportunity to transport guests back to the time of New Spain Colonial life and New Mexico frontier life. The interaction with young and old is very rewarding.  I enjoy talking with other volunteers who are full of a wealth of historical knowledge. I enjoy walking the Ranch and taking in the beauty of nature. I appreciate the beauty of the buildings in their hand-crafted design. I admire the arts and crafts from the past, such as tin making, weaving, wood working, blacksmithing and more. I enjoy the preservation of traditions and learning the meaning behind them.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas is important, as history is a window for the future. Whatever the past, good and bad, can be a beacon to a better tomorrow.”