National Hispanic Heritage Month – Schools

The National Register of Historic Places and Colorado State Register of Historic Properties is one tool that recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from mid-September to mid-October. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

Garcia School (Costilla County)

Garcia School (Costilla County)
Garcia School (Costilla County)

Listed in the Colorado State Register in 2015, the Garcia School is one of only a few adobe buildings remaining in what was once Plaza de los Manzanares, an unincorporated settlement in the San Luis Valley dating to 1849. An exact construction date for the school is not known, but it is believed to date to ca. 1913, when the property was sold to Costilla County School District Number Two under the express condition that it be used for a public school.  The school closed its doors in 1963, but later served as a community library and Head Start program.  The school is a rare example of a Territorial Adobe rural school which maintains its architectural integrity. The school falls under the historic context of the Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Documentation Form.

La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (Conejos County)

La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (Conejos County)
La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (Conejos County)

As the headquarters for La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) since 1925, the building represents an important aspect of Hispano history and was listed in the National Register in 2001. Originally created to combat racism against Hispanos in the San Luis Valley, this fraternal organization later expanded to provide mutual aid, thereby playing an important role in the overall social history of Colorado. Construction of this building popularized the use of steel trusses, introduced changes in massing, and promoted hybridized Southwest vernacular designs subsequently utilized in other Hispano enclaves.

The Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation’s Heritage Diversity Initiative seeks to celebrate the historic places significant to people of every language, culture, and background that comprise the Colorado story. Check out the growing list of historic places, including Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, here: www.historypin.org/en/person/75043. Submit your own story as well: www.historycolorado.org/oahp/heritage-diversity-initiative.

Visit the National Park’s Service National Hispanic Heritage Month feature, including highlights of Colorado’s Capilla de San Isidro in Los Fuertes (Costilla County), Montoya Ranch (Huerfano County), and Trujillo Homestead National Historic Landmark (Alamosa County).

–Astrid Liverman

Astrid Liverman