Charles Martinez

In this video, historian Charles Martinez talks about his journey tracing his genealogy back to Spain. Charles, who lives in Santa Fe, asked his parents when he was 10 years old about his family before researching later on in many archives for baptism, marriage and death records, military records and newspapers.


Los Pobladores

lunaSince arriving in Los Angeles time has gone so fast that it has taken me a while to process all that has happened over the last few days. Today I met with some of the descendants of the original eleven families that founded El Pueblo de Los Angeles. They belong to an organisation called Los Pobladores that was founded in 1981, when the City was commemorating its 200th anniversary.

Thanks to Robert Welham I had the chance to interview and photograph Rose Ramirez, Paul Guzman and Jeri Garcia at Olvera Street, the original settlement which has grown to become the metropolis of todays LA. If you happen to be near Olvera Street this Saturday you should check out `The Blessing of the Animals´, and old tradition that is revived every year where people bring along their pets or livestock to be blessed with holy water.

I will also like to thank Rose for bringing her granddaughter Luna, who at only 4 years old prove to be an invaluable assistant, giving Matt some much needed time off from holding the reflector!

I was also lucky to meet with both Irene Sepúlveda and Valerie Welham yesterday in Yorba Linda, a town founded with a land grant given to Bernardo Yorba in 1834.


A truly Spanish inscription

Explorers left inscriptions in trees and rocks in case they never returned home. In 1776, the expedition of Dominguez – Escalante passed by Glen Canyon and carved on the rock `paso por aqui, año 1776´, (We passed by here. Year 1776).

The Father Dominguez and Father Escalante were trying to find a direct route between the Spanish missions established in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Monterrey in California. Due to hardships experienced during their journey, they decided to return to Santa Fe before reaching their destination. They wrote a journal and mapped their expedition which became an invaluable resource for future explorers such as Antonio Armijo.

This ins

Climber rescue on Lake Powell

Whilst its marginally off topic I wanted to include the following post as today, aside from seeing the remarkable 1776 inscription left by the Dominguez-Escalante expedition, I also witnessed what was a truly remarkable rescue by the National Park Service of an injured rock climber who had fallen about 35 feet at Gregory Butte in Lake Powell. The team risked everything to repel down to the climber, hand winch him up to a safe point and then used two separate helicopters to firstly get him off the mountain from a very difficult position and then to take him to the nearest hospital. I can only highlight the amazing team efforts by the National Park Service and the associated organisations involved in this rescue. Photograph by Matt Wright. You can use the gigapan above to zoom in and see the challenge they faced.