SANGRE de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) will host the Alliance of National Heritage Areas 2022 Fall Conference on October 10-14, 2022, and is looking for community partners to give the event a San Luis Valley touch.

SdCNHA is inviting partners and local businesses to donate products, stickers, brochures, and other items to be included in gift bags for conference attendees, allowing them to take home a little bit of the San Luis Valley. If you’d like to participate, please contact Alina Marquez at 719-580-8044 or email

The Alliance of National Heritage Areas works collectively to protect and promote the people and places that tell America’s stories. It is a membership organization of congressionally designated National Heritage Areas and partner-affiliated organizations promoting the professionalism and benefits of the program through education and advocacy.

National Heritage Areas are a program within the National Park Service, and are places where historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to form cohesive, nationally important landscapes. Unlike national parks, National Heritage Areas are large, lived-in landscapes. National Heritage Area entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.

In October, 55 National Heritage Areas from across the country are invited to visit and tour the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, which encompasses 3,000 square miles consisting of Alamosa County, Conejos County, and Costilla County. With 11,000 years of documented human habitation, the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area is a crossroads of the centuries. 

In the Valley, a unique blend of Native American, Hispano and Anglo settlement is reflected in the diversity of the people, art and traditions. The geographic isolation of the high desert valley and the enduring ties to the land have given rise to a rich cultural heritage and ensured its preservation.

The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area’s fertile cultural landscape is complemented by remarkable natural resources, including the Rio Grande, Rocky Mountain peaks, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Baca National Wildlife Refuge, and the high mountain desert, all of which lend the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area an unparalleled beauty that offers a sense of retreat and a powerful source of inspiration for visitors.

The first National Heritage Area was designated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.