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News from 2020-2021

Posted: October 15, 2020

Hispanic Heritage Celebration / Mi Corazon/My Heart

Watch the video of this year's celebration which includes music and dance performances, the announcement of this year's essay contest winners, and a posthumous tribute to Albuquerque author and APS school namesake Rudolfo Anaya.

Mariachi Groups

  • Albuquerque High – Mariachi San Jose
  • Atrisco Heritage Academy – Mariachi Herencia Varsity
  • Atrisco Heritage Academy – Mariachi Herencia Junior Varsity

Dance Groups

  • Ballet Folklorice Corazon De Albuquerque High School
  • Ballet Folklorico Jaguares Del Valle (Atrisco Heritage Academy)
  • Ballet Floklorice De West Mesa 
  • Ballet Folklorico Del Sol De Valley High School

Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School Readers

  • Kindergartener Sophia Baca reading "The First Tortilla" in English
  • First-grader Diego Mendez reading "How Chile Came to New Mexico" in Spanish
  • Second-grader Virginia Newcomb reading "Owl in a Straw Hat" in English
  • Third-grader Daniel Garcia Barron reading "The Santero’s Miracle" in Spanish
  • Fourth-grader Brissa Pando reading "No More Bullies" in Spanish
  • Fifth-grader Antonio Jaramillo reading "Bless Me Ultima" in English

Essay Contest Winners

The essay contest was open to all APS students who were asked to reflect on what they feel are the characteristics of their heart, how these characteristics lift them up, and how do they lift up those around them. 

Elementary School

  • 1st Place: Tiana Baldonado-Wilson, Lew Wallace Elementary School
  • 2nd Place: Giovanni Rivera, Lew Wallace Elementary School
  • 3rd Place: Amalia Y Gonzales-Garcia, Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School

Middle School

  • 1st Place: Henry Newcomb, George I. Sanchez Collaborative Community School  
  • 2nd Place: Haylie Garcia, Jackson Middle School
  • 3rd Place: Kevin Munoz, Washington Middle School 

High School

  • 1st Place: Isabel Barajas, Albuquerque Hight School
  • 2nd Place: Karyme Ramirez, School: Albuquerque HS
  • 3rd Place: Camila Corona, Albuquerque High School 


Winning essay by Tina Baldonado-Wilson, a 1st-grader at Lew Wallace Elementary School

La Reina de mi Corazon es mi abuela. My abuelas name is Martha Baldonado. My grandmother is my best friend. She has taught me so much. My grandma is loving and kind. I have called my abuela Nana since I was a baby. She teaches me to love everyone, be kind and to always keep a smile on my face. Mi Nana es muy bonita. I Sometimes spend the night at my Nanas house on the weekends. I wake up to the smell of chorizo and huevos rancheros, which are my favorite foods. After breakfast I wash the dishes and sweep the floors. Nana taught me to wash the dishes, sweep the floors and make the beds at an early age. I always enjoy helping my Nana cook. One of our favorite foods to prepare together are tamales, which we usually make at Christmas time. Nana me enseno el valor de Dios y la Familia. She has taught me to always tell the truth and to act honorably. She has taught me the importance of helping those in need. She always encourages me to do my best at everything, She is one of my biggest fans. Mi Nana me enseno espanol y la importancia de mi herencia. She speaks to me in Spanish every day, so that I will be fluent one day, like her. Nana tu eres mi  Corazon mas bonito del mundo. I have 1larned so much from you Nana. Te amo con todo mi Corazon. Gracias por llevando me a la iglesia y dar le gracias a Dios por todo.


Winning essay by Henry Arthur Newcomb, 7th Grader at George I Sanchez Community Collaborative School 

Cultures and traditions are very important to me. Being of Irish and Spanish descent is a privilege; I am lucky to have the opportunity to learn of two very rich cultures. My father´s family are descendants of Irish immigrants who came to the Americas in search of a dream. The name Newcomb itself comes from the old English element of new in town. My mother's family is of Spanish descent dating back to the days of the Spanish conquistadors. Spanish families came in search of a dream in the new world of the West, in what was to become the Americas, not much different from my Irish ancestors. My Spanish ancestors settled in the areas of Northern New Mexico. My great-grandfather was born in 1901 in Taos, years before New Mexico became a state. My maternal grandparents often tell stories about New Mexico and its history over time that were passed down across generations about our culture and traditions. Living in New Mexico has allowed me to embrace my Hispanic culture.

One of the many ways we show our appreciation for others and the world around us is through our celebrations like birthdays, christenings, weddings, funerals, and festivals. Our celebrations are in honor of the past, present, and future. We partake in the celebrations with our family and our local community. With all the great celebrations comes delicious food. Spanish traditional food stems from utilizing nourishment provided by the Earth such as corn-based dishes, fresh wheat bread and tortillas, and harvested green chili. These foods are rich in flavor and nutritional value.

My heritage also helps to strengthen me. It helps me be courageous because my ancestors came from far away places to start a new life. It helps me be resilient because my ancestors adapted to their new life here in New Mexico. Some were farmers, cowboys, construction contractors, and teachers. They help me show my strength because they were strong when migrating here. They helped me be empathetic because they were forced to make do with what little they had and they had to share to survive.

Both my Irish in Spanish heritage has helped me to shape mi corazon. My heart lives in these everyday aspects. My heart is filled with courage. I am courageous because I will stand up to anybody being a bully. I am very resilient and because I can adapt to any situation I face in school. I am very passionate about making sure people are safe and comfortable in every situation. I show strength by sticking to my beliefs. I am empathetic because whenever I see a person in a situation I try to put myself in their position. It is important to stay well and healthy to maintain a balanced lifestyle. These characteristics help me to be a better person which allows me to help others. I lift up others around me by setting a good example and helping to make sure that their needs are being met.


Winning essay by Isabel Barajas, a sophomore at Albuquerque High School 

My heart, mi corazón, a muscle beating at 60 beats per minute pumping blood throughout my body. A muscle that is represented as a sign of love, and the things I love the most remain within. Every school I have learned from, every activity I have participated in, and most importantly my family and friends all reside within.

The years I have spent in school I have learned english, math and sciences. These were all factors which molded my mind into the ideas and thoughts I now have. School is a place for me to express my ideas, thoughts, and myself to others which brought me to be more social. The people I met at school changed my life in many positive ways. From teachers and friends to other school staff, they each were able to teach me something, as I believe that you can learn at least one thing from everyone. School lives and beats within my heart as I want to continue to learn more and achieve more. My school is a very important part of my community and the ways I learned to help that community.

Without school as a factor, I believe I would not have participated in many clubs and sports that allowed me to gain experience. In high school I became very involved with many community service clubs such as senate, national honors society, BLISS, and PAUSE. Each of these clubs connected and allowed me to learn how to help my community by knowing how to set up community service events and understanding situations and helping people fix them. My community became very important to me when I realized how many people cared and how it made a difference in their lives. As a freshman, I never realized the impact I had on the community or it had on me. Now that I am nearing the end I know I love my community because of the support they gave the Albuquerque High School sports, clubs, and the staff. These people really made a difference for me so I knew that I would continue to make a difference for them in the community. 

The most important thing inside mi corazón is my family. They were the first people to be there for me and have been since birth. They taught me an important life lesson and skill that I value so much. I was taught to have my own opinions and morals even if it was different from theirs and not the most popular thing to do. They gifted me with knowledge on topics and ways to find more information, so I could build my own opinions and values. This taught me to learn, to be respectful to others, have strength to voice my own opinion, and be brave to express these opinions and values I have created. This lesson brought so much change into my life, as this allowed me to be proud of my culture in which they also helped instill into my values. I never knew much about my culture until my family truly began to teach me about it. I learned a religion in which I knew to pray every morning and night, to keep God in my mind and heart for he would protect me and the ones I love. This culture brought religion, tradition, and a language I am still learning. These traditions allowed me to grow with my family and understand our culture by seeing how family will always be there for you and help one another grow. As I grew older, I met my comadres who became a part of my family. They taught me things my family couldn’t, by keeping me grounded and always helping one another to succeed. We each were able to become a part of our communities and this is what lives in my heart; Comadres helping in ways mentally, emotionally, and socially. I would never understand these things if I never met my friends who became a part of my large family.

Mi corazón, a body part I only knew of as a muscle until I realized what it represented and lies within. I never knew how important my heart was until I knew what was most important, and how the things that were within were the things that changed my life. Every school I have learned from, every activity I have participated in, and most importantly my family and friends all reside within my beating muscle that keeps me alive. I’m so thankful for the people I met through all the activities I participated in, for I do not believe mi corazón would be the same.