Patty Aragon Memorial Scholarship
Patty Aragon Memorial Scholarship 2019
Cameron Lucero and DeAnn Schaaf are the 2019 recipients of the Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic Memorial scholarship.
“Growing up in the town that holds my family’s history and heritage, I have always been excited to learn more about the traditions that make me who I am today. Our Hispanic heritage defines us as a family and brings us together as one, and the traditions will continue throughout time,” wrote Cameron in her essay reminding us that our heritage is a huge part of our future.
“A culture’s heritage is the legacy we are left, the history behind the beauty. I am proud to say that I am the fifth generation on a horse and cattle ranch here in Archuleta County. The heritage here is strong and worth keeping alive,” DeAnne wrote in her essay reminding us that our heritage is a legacy.
Patty Aragon Memorial Scholarship
The beautiful mountains, crisp air, natural beauty, and unique diversity of Pagosa Springs has been home to the Lucero family since the early 1930s. Being the fourth generation of my family holds a special place in my heart and being able to carry on family heritage as I move on to college means a lot to me. Large extensions of my family are located here in my small hometown, including great aunts and uncles, grandparents, and many cousins. Generation after generation, our family traditions have been passed down and will continue to be celebrated.
The cultural heritage that makes up this small town has stuck with us for as long as I can remember. The family traditions that take place every year are very important to my family. Each tradition was brought together and created by a different family member, which is very unique to us. It provides an automatic feeling of unity and belonging among our large family. Many of these hispanic traditions that take place are also a big part of our small community. Every Christmas, all family and friends gather at my great grandma’s house. We open a few little gifts and cook delicious, homemade meals that make your mouth water. The warmth of tortillas, the spice of green chili, and the savory flavor of biscochitos is what makes the kitchen the heart of my family. My grandma and I also take a whole day out of our schedules every year to bake tons of cookies, many of which are original, hispanic recipes. The smell of these cookies take over her small kitchen and fill our hearts with pure joy. We deliver all of these baked goods to all friends and family for them to enjoy and cherish. All of their faces light up so bright when the basket arrives to their door. Not only are family traditions special, but there are also events that include the hispanic culture such as fun parades and colorful festivals throughout the community.
Alongside these traditions, our heritage also gives us the opportunity to understand our previous generations and where we have come from. When my great grandpa married by great grandma, they bought all of the land right above their house. They originally bought this land for personal use. As time went on and they had kids, they gave each of them a piece of the land to build their own house on a settle down with their own family. My grandma and grandpa, three aunts and uncles, and also my cousins now have houses up on the hill that holds all of my childhood memories. Growing up, it was the best thing ever to have all my cousins and family all on one big piece of land. We throw family fiestas and huge cookouts up there, and all family joins together to celebrate. We never forget to bust open pinatas that fly open with candy, laugh until we can’t anymore, and celebrate until the sun comes up again. The family hill will always be a place that reminds us of where family traditions started long ago.
Our hispanic heritage, which has revolved around this small town, has been passed down through many generations. It links our family together through culture, religion, and tradition. Growing up being surrounded by all of my family, I have learned the value of our history and traditions that will continue to follow throughout my life.
The future is ahead of me and our family traditions will continue. Passing down our heritage, especially to my two young little sisters and future generations is a big priority of mine. My family and I give them opportunities to learn and observe where our family has come from. They are so engaged and interested in everything that we do. They enjoy getting their hands messy from baking biscochitos and then stuffing their mouths full until they can’t anymore. They also adore the crochet, yellow and pink blanket that has been passed down by many woman in my family and they are also always up for a family story. Making sure that the younger generations of our family understand and carry on our heritage is important to us, and I will play my role of passing that down and carrying it on. Being able to take my heritage with me to college and share my traditions there would mean a lot to my family as well.
Growing up in the town that holds my family’s history and heritage, I have always been excited to learn more about the traditions that make me who I am today. Our hispanic heritage defines us as a family and brings us together as one, and the traditions will continue throughout time.
Patty Aragon Memorial Scholarship
A culture’s heritage is the legacy we are left, the history behind the beauty. I am proud to say I am the fifth generation on a horse and cattle ranch here in Archuleta county. The heritage here is strong and worth keeping alive. Thanks to my family, I know and understand the importance of Pagosa’s past, present and future.
Being a fifth generation means that your family feels a strong connection to every decision made for the town. I think having a family with a big presence has set me up to love the atmosphere here. My grandfather continues to make our name a good one and he is my biggest role model as well as my hero. He pushes through everyday, no matter the obstacle and he is a man of God, his word, and a man with the biggest heart around. He tells me stories about our family and our community and it always sparks a flame in my heart. Because of my grandad, I am determined to work hard, be a name worth remembering, and to pass the stories to younger generations. Pagosa started somewhere, I’m just proud to be a part of a family with a legacy.
A big part of Pagosa’s legacy is the lumber industry due to the amount of trees in our gorgeous, mountainous town. The lumber in Pagosa was vital to the railroad my family, and many families helped build and maintain. This railroad made the movement of animals and feed much easier and sheep and cattle ranching boomed.
My family tells the endless stories that have been passed down through every generation and that is true heritage to me. They say that Highway 160 was huge for the town itself. It offered a faster way to travel as well as access to Wolf Creek. Today, this road takes us much further. These facts are just a small piece to the puzzle. Pagosa isn’t just a small town with trees and a road running through it. Along with the domesticated animals, our land is home to many wild animals. Hunting has become a big part of our community and a pull factor for many tourists. All tourists play a big role in our heritage, believe it or not. Small, family owned and ran businesses in Pagosa stay afloat thanks to the thousands of visitors each year.
I believe that in order to keep something alive, it must be a topic of discussion. A way to do this is by passing history on to not only the children, but all residents. Pagosa is growing rapidly thanks to the endless beauty and small town appeal. I am convinced, however, that the heart of the town lies with the Pagosa natives. They radiate love and help raise the youth for a brighter future.
My future is to go to college, gain a higher education, and to return home. If home is where the heart is, Pagosa will forever have my heart. I hope to raise my children in this wonderful town and I fully intend to teach them to love the history, the people, and the endless opportunities. The mountains call my name and God’s work shows more than ever with every passing day. Pagosa isn’t only beautiful to the eye, but to the soul. It warms me on summer nights and winter mornings, I am beyond blessed to live in such a place with such a strong heritage and family feel.
I am thankful for the town and the world I live in. I think growing up in a small, tight knit community has taught me to see the world with a wider view. I know that Pagosa isn’t the only place in the world to find happiness, but it’s where I find mine. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I couldn’t ask for a better village to call home