Embodying 'Querencia' in the Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico Borderlands

Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez | Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication

This project engages community histories and stories in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico by examining how "Hispano" (long-standing Spanish- and Mexican-origin) communities created and preserved their "querencia" on both sides of Arizona/New Mexico territorial and state borders.

Juan Estevan Arellano (2014) defines "querencia" as a love or attachment to place rooted in the landscape. As "Hispano" communities migrated to eastern Arizona and western New Mexico in the mid-1800s, they engaged in cultural and social practices that allowed them, in theory, to extend their "querencia" to new regions.

This project looks critically at notions of "querencia" in the eastern Arizona and western New Mexico borderlands by examining how "Hispano" communities came to call these borderlands home via multiple migrations and generations. 

Painting by Gertrudes Chávez, of her home in Atarque, New Mexico.

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