My heritage is both Mexican and American with a huge influence on Latino culture due to my upbringing by a Latina Mom in Mexico and border town of San Ysidro, CA. I embrace my bicultural heritage and through the Latino Heritage road trip discovered Hispanic Heritage across America and influence of Hispanics in each of the places we visited.
I had the pleasure of visiting the White Sands National Monument during our Latino Heritage road trip. The visitor center and monument is located on U.S. Highway 70, 52 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The white as snow dunes were created over three million years ago and look like a comma from outer space. The White Sands National National Monument was established in 1933 and is one of the world’s natural wonders.
The visitor facilities has a lot of Hispanic influence and was constructed over a period of six years during the Great Depression. The building was designed to reflect traditional regional Pueblo architecture in the area. The architects also relied on the local craftspeople including Hispanic woodcarvers for some of intricate designs. I really admired the workmanship, latillas and vigas of this adobe building.
The visitor center also features a fully bilingual state of the art museum exhibits with English and Spanish text. The exhibits provide the history of the architecture of the adobe visitor center and tell the story of the geology of the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, unique plants and animals.
After checking out the exhibits we headed towards the sand dunes. I jumped out of the car and started snapping photos and literally dancing in the Sand. This place is phenomenal! It’s a beautiful site to be on top of a White Sand Dune. You can also walk on the dunes with bare feet, even in the hottest summer months. The sand feels cool and soft to the touch. White Sands Monument is also very popular among hikers and photographers nationwide.
I also had the opportunity to interview two National Park Service Rangers during our visit as well who shared tips for visiting the glistening White Sands National Monument.
If you’re planning a recreational or educational trip to New Mexico head on over to the White Sands National Monument, bring a camera and stay awhile. Some of the best Park Ranger guided events are scheduled around sun down. We’re definitely coming back! Plan your trip here: http://www.nps.gov/whsa
Disclosure: The Latino Heritage roadtrip was partially funded by American Latino Fund, Verizon Wireless & General Motors. The vehicle driven during the roadtrip was provided by General Motors. All opinions and content rights are my own.
Question: Did you know that the National Parks have online resources to help you discover historical sites in your local city or nationwide? Have you ever planned a roadtrip or a vacation to learn more about your heritage?