Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center
San Luis is referred to by anthropologists as "a distinct socio-cultural era of exceptional interest". The town was founded in 1851 and was once a part of four Spanish Land Grants decreed by the King of Spain that includes history of Francisco de Coronado. Here you will find the "vega," one of the two remaining "commons" in the United States, the oldest water rights in Colorado, and the oldest family store in the state.
The Museum features murals and works of art from its own collection and on loan from various artists and collectors, many of whom are local residents. For several months of the year the Center features the Dias de los Muertos exhibit as part of the town's Day of the Dead annual celebration. On exhibit is a grinding stone from a once functional Mill in town. The Gift Shop offers paintings and other art objects by various local artists.
The north wing of the complex houses the Carlos Beaubien Theatre, which shows movies on summer weekends and in the past has been used to host the Santa Ana / Santiago Queen Pageant. The theatre has also been the setting of several stage performances, presentations, and concerts. The Heritage Center also includes a Morada, a prayer room used by the members of the Penitente Church. Because much of the original decor has been maintained throughout the building, the original vigas and fireplace still grace the theatre.
An auxiliary building houses a branch of the First Western National Bank of La Jara, the Costilla County District Court, La Sierra Newspaper, and other offices. San Luis is also host to the Mariachi San Luis.
To learn more about the town of San Luis go to:
Scenic Byway -- You can discover more about the eastern portion of the official site of the Los Caminos Antiquos Scenic Byway.
Sacred Circle Tour -- The County has also put together a Sacred Circle Tour that also includes the: Shrine at the Stations of the Cross
Experience the beauty of the Rio Culebra landscape and the accomplished local skill that created this awe-inspiring devotional site. Overlooking the town of San Luis is the shrine of "La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia" (Hill of Piety and Mercy). Constructed in 1986, two centerpieces celebrate Colorado's newest Catholic shrine, La Capilla de Todos Los Santos (the Chapel of All Saints) and bronze sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross. As visitors climb the half-mile trail they can view fifteen bronze sculptures of Christ's passion and resurrection and experience the magnificent adobe Capilla at the top of the mesa. On San Pedro Mesa overlooking San Luis, at the junction of CO Hwys 159 and 142 San Luis, CO 81152 (719) 672-3685.
You'll find this beautiful non-denominational prayer and meditation garden just five miles south of San Luis at the home of the Casa de Santa Maria. A sacred place dedicated to the mother of Jesus--Mother Mary's Garden.
Mother Mary's Garden, a spiritual oasis for prayer and mediation is free to all, a gift to Costilla County residents from folks across the country through the work of San Luis residents Susan and Milt Sanford.
The centerpiece of Mother Mary's Garden is a 10' 5" sacred western red cedar totem carving of Mother Mary by Native-American Master Carter Lee Wallace of the Haida Tribe of Ketichan, Alaska.
From San Luis, go south on route 159 for five miles and turn right on Manassa Rd (Cnty Rd P). Travel one mile, and just a few feet past the Sanchez Canal Bridge, turn left on to the Casa property.
Visit their website @ www.casadesantamaria.org
The original settlers of Southern Colorado brought with them a form of land settlement and irrigation that was based on principles of equity, shared scarcity and cooperation in which water was viewed as a resource in place, rather than a commodity. It is here, in the villages surrounding San Luis, where Colorado's oldest continuous water rights have existed since the mid-1800's. This type of water system is called an acequia. Acequias continue to be the lifeblood of residents in Southern Costilla County – they not only serve to provide the water for the farms on which hundreds of families depend on, but they also serve as a conduit for community services and support.
Filming by #ChristiBode, Moxiecran Media