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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Free teachers' workshop focuses on El Camino Real

The New Mexico State University Public History Program and the University Museum will join the Camino Real Association for a free teachers' workshop and field trip on how to use the Royal Road as a teaching tool Saturday, Nov. 16.

ning session will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. The afternoon field trip will be from 1 to 4 p.m.

El Camino Real or the Royal Road was the 1,500-mile route that connected Santa Fe and the rest of New Mexico with Mexico City during Spanish Colonial times. It began in 1598 when Don Juan de Onate led a group of settlers along it into New Mexico, and it continued to be used until the railroad put it out of business in the 1880s.

Morning presentations will include "A Historical Overview of the Camino Real" by George Torok of El Paso Community College; "Onate and the Indians" by Marc Thompson, deputy director of the El Paso Museum of Archeology at Wilderness Park; and "Making El Camino Come Alive in the Classroom" by Jon Hunner, director of New Mexico State's Public History Program.

Ed Staski, director of the University Museum, will lead the field trip to the Paraje de San Diego north of Radium Springs, the last campsite before northbound travelers encountered the dreaded Jornada del Muerto, a 90-mile stretch of the trail without water.

The Camino Real Association, which began last year, is an informal group with members from southern New Mexico, west Texas and northern Mexico who are committed to preserving and interpreting El Camino Real.

The workshop is open to all teachers. For more information or to make a reservation, call Hunner at (505) 646-2490.