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Bienvenidos (Spanish), Be-Po-Wa-Ve (Tewa), He-Ya-Ho (Tiwa), Daanzho (Apache). These are all ways to say, Welcome! to the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area.

Each of these languages is still spoken in Northern New Mexico, a Cradle of Settlement that encompasses a mosaic of cultures, including the Jicarilla Apache, 8 Tewa and Tiwa Native Pueblos, and communities established by the descendants of Spanish colonists who settled in the area beginning in 1598, a generation before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.

Residents continue to speak their native languages along with English, and to share the traditions and practices of their ancestors in a cultural expression that leaves a strong imprint on residents and visitors alike. Indeed, visitors are advised that most of the place names and references are in Spanish, with Spanish pronunciations.

The Heritage Area stretches south to north from I-40 in the center of the State to the Colorado border. Area boundaries include all of Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos counties, a total area of 10,000 square miles in North-central New Mexico.