Jim Baca

Jim Baca

Sunday, 24 September 2017 22:31

Using Nuestra Cultura in Romance

This is a wonderful article by Carmen Baca, author of the book "El Hermano" and member of Voces de Santa Fe.  This is a perfect example of what Voces de Santa Fe is all about.  "Telling Our History in Our Own Voices"


Click on the "Download attachments" link below to read the story!


Thursday, 31 August 2017 22:07

Voces de Santa Fe Gathering

Looks like the lunch gathering of Voces de Santa Fe on Saturday will be one of the biggest ever!  We are celebrating the Fiesta de Santa Fe and the seventh anniversary of Voces de Santa Fe!

Monday, 31 July 2017 16:58

El Hermano, a novel by Carmen Baca

I had the privilege of meeting Carmen Baca at Bookworks aqui en 'Burque.  Carmen was discussing her book "El Hermano."  It is a wonderful story about her father's coming of age in the 1920's as a future member of a Cofradia (Penitentes) in northern New Mexico.  The book features some of the folklore that we love in northern New Mexico including our mysterious La Llorona.  You can purchase the book on Amazon and many local bookstores.  Voces de Santa Fe has always been committed to supporting our local artists and authors.  They are instrumental in keeping our culture alive and vibrant.




Sunday, 07 May 2017 19:22

Fray Angelico Chavez Library

Some of the co-founders of Voces de Santa Fe (Maria Montez-Skolnik, Mike Lord, Stephen Earnest and Jim Baca) met today with Patricia Hewett, Librarian of Fray Angelico Chavez Library in Santa Fe.  The purpose of the meeting was to donate a copy of the book "Lo de Mora" to the library.  The donation was made by the book's author, Manuel Alcon and we presented it to the library on his behalf.  Patricia's comment was "this book represents what this library is all about."  The library does not have a purchasing budget so they rely on these kinds of donations in order to maintain it's resources.  We were honored to present the book to Patricia on behalf of Sr. Alcon.

This book is a very detailed history of the town of Mora, located in northern New Mexico.  It is meticulously researched by Sr. Alcon and it was compiled over a period of forty years.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, you can send an email to his granddaughter, Allegra Pacheco:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The price of the book is $20 plus shipping costs.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 19:19

Northern New Mexico Folk Art

I believe that folk art comes in many different mediums.  Paintings, carvings, sculptures, weavings and others.  Folk art also includes the written word.  A quintessential example of this is the book "Lo de Mora" written by Manuel Alcon.  Sr. Alcon, a native of Mora, educator and World War II veteran, meticulously compiled this book over a 40-year period of time.  The book is a very detailed history of Mora which is one of the most beautiful communities in northern New Mexico.  He was inspired by his father, Ben who kept a daily diary and encouraged him to attend college and his mother Rosaura who instilled in him the love of reading.  Sr. Alcon, well into his nineties, should be congratulated for his accomplishments.

The book had a limited print run and there are some copies still available.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can email Sr. Alcon's granddaughter (and my friend), Allegra Pacheco at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The price of a copy is $20 plus shipping costs.

Friday, 29 July 2016 16:52

Special Book Donated to Library

Some of the founding members of Voces de Santa Fe met yesterday with Patricia Hewitt, the Librarian of the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library in Santa Fe.  The purpose of the meeting was to donate a very special book (The Delight Makers) to the library where it will become a permanent part of it’s  historical collection. The book was originally sold to Charlie L. Miller of 607 Palace Ave., Santa Fe on July 11, 1923.  The book was sold to Mr. Miller by the J.F. Collins Co. which was an office supplies and stationery company in Santa Fe at the time.  We know this from the inscriptions that appear within the book.


Somehow this book ended up, almost a hundred years later, at a used-book store in New Hampshire and was purchased by Ann Armstrong of California who was vacationing in New Hampshire a couple of months ago. When Ann returned home to California, she did some online research to try to learn the identity of it’s original owner, Charlie Miller.  Ann didn’t turn up anything on Mr. Miller, but she did come across the Voces de Santa Fe website (VocesdeSantaFe.org) and through our website, she contacted us to see if we could assist her in returning the book to it’s original home in Santa Fe. After a journey of almost a hundred years and thousands of miles, this book has now returned home.


One has to wonder about how many times this book has been read and by whom and where.  This will probably remain forever a mystery.


(Pictured above besides Patricia Hewitt is Maria Montez-Skolnik, Jim Baca, Stephen Earnest and Mike Lord.  Maria, Jim, Stephen and Mike are co-founders of Voces de Santa Fe.)

Monday, 11 July 2016 02:25

Voces de Santa Fe Gathering

Voces de Santa Fe gathered at the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant for fun, food and great socializing.  We had a great time! 

     Our dear mother, Cecilia, almost every school day woke us up with the following greeting: "Levantaten ninos, se toco el pito del shops... wake up children, the Shop's whistle blew!"  The Santa Fe Railroad Shops' whistle during the 1940's, 50's, and '60's signaled at 7:15 am the beginning of our day, as it did for everyone in the Albuquerque neighborhoods adjacent the Shops.   The whistle also blew at 7:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30pm, 4:00pm, and 4:30pm.  It was the signal that helped the employees of the Shops pace their workday, and it also helped the many residents of the adjacent neighborhoods pace their respective days.

     We grew up in the Barelas neighborhood, in the shadow of the Santa Fe Railroad Shops.  Our good and strong father, Frank, worked as a journeyman machinist at the Santa Fe Railroad Shops for 46 years.  He was no more than sixteen years of age as he began work there in 1942.  He was a laborer who helped the older and more skilled men work on steam locomotives in the Shop's huge Roundhouse.  Less than one year later, he joined the United States Navy and served his country with honor and courage as a submariner in the South Pacific for the duration of World War II.  He returned to the Shops after his discharge in December of 1946, and he began and completed his four-year internship as a machinist. Two years later our father, who was a Navy Reservist, was deployed to the Korean War.  He again served his country for the war's duration, and again returned to the Shops after his discharge.  We had a father whom we loved and respected.  He was our hero because of his distinguished service to our country during World War II and the Korean War, and because he faithfully worked hard every day at the Santa Fe Shops as a distinguished journeyman machinist.  Many of our neighborhood friends had fathers who shared the same legacy as our father.

     The Santa Fe Railroad Shops provided good and dignified work for many Albuquerque residents, especially for the many Hispanic men who lived in Albuquerque's working class Hispanic neighborhoods.  We were not wealthy, but we never lacked for life's necessities.  We also were blessed to enjoy the security and nurturing that our good mother gave us because she did not have to go to work.  She was always there at home for us.  We were prosperous, not because of money, but rich in the security of our good parents' unconditional love and good example. The Santa Fe Railroad helped provide the means for that to happen.

     A great bonus for those who worked for the Santa Fe Railroad was a free family pass to ride on any of the passenger trains to the many destinations that the Santa Fe Railroad served. As children, we took several trips to California and visited Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, San Francisco's Fisherman's' Wharf and many weekend excursions to El Paso, Texas and neighboring Ciudad Juarez. We also experienced in 1960 a minor train wreck north of El Paso; fortunately, no one was injured. The free pass provided experiences for us that we may otherwise might not have had.

     Our father also had the distinction of having saved a fellow employee's life. In 1963 a Roundhouse door suddenly opened and knocked a Roundhouse worker unconscious onto the railroad track. A locomotive that was being serviced began to back out of the Roundhouse in the direction of the injured man. Fortunately, our father witnessed the accident and immediately ran to the man and pulled him off the track seconds before the locomotive passed. For this and many other reasons, our father retired with distinction from the Santa Fe Railroad Shops in August 31, 1988.

     Our father lived almost all of his life in the same home in which he was raised. His father, Francisco, who also worked for a short period of time for the Santa Fe Railroad, built the house from the ground up in 1923 and that includes the adobes he made from the soil that the house rests on. Our dear mother died in 1984 and our dear father died in 2009. Our childhood home still stands in the Barelas neighborhood It is a monument, of sorts, to the good life that our father and mother provided for us as children, and it is filled with the many precious memories that we all experienced growing up in the shadow of the Shops.

In loving memory of our good and noble parents, Frank and Cecilia Archibeque

Clyde Archibeque           Julie Archibeque           Frank Andrew Archibeque

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