Blog >> Agrarian Life for Agua Fria Village

  • Agua Fría, a small village surrounded by the city of Santa Fe, lies on the historic Camino Real and served as a rest stop for travelers on the last stretch of trail from Mexico City to Santa Fe. San Isidro Church, its name dedicated to the patron saint of farmers, was built in the center of the village about 1835. The land was platted in long, narrow strips, which assured that each landowner had access to water and proper drainage for irrigating crops. The first historic reference to Agua Fría was in 1776 by Fray Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, who referred to the area as Quemado (burned), reflecting the way Pindi Pueblo was destroyed. Pindi was the first prehistoric pueblo site recorded in New Mexico, dating back to the 1300s. Domínguez described farmlands fertilized by the river and a settlement of 57 families and 297 persons. The acequia maps of 1914 show the acreage of land cultivated and that the growing season allowed farmers to grow chile, corn, beans, wheat and alfalfa. Until as recently as the late 1940s, Agua Fría has been a self-sufficient community. The way of life in Agua Fría Village is based on a strong attachment to the land and an understanding of the cultural continuity that goes back many generations. – Hazel Romero, La Herencia, Spring 2002.

     Photo caption: The old windmill at Agua Fria Village.