Article by Central Staff
Juan Bautista de Anza – June 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine
Anza World is coming to Monte Vista
We may not be arranging an Anza Day this August in Poncha Springs, since there’s going to be a lot of Anza activity then just over Poncha Pass with the Fourth Annual Anza World Conference. Juan Bautista de Anza was the Spanish provincial governor of New Mexico in 1779. On a military campaign against the Jupe Comanche, he ventured into the northern San Luis Valley, then over Poncha Pass and into South Park.
So in our eyes, he’s important because he left the first written record of Central Colorado. Since that’s what we do every month, write about Central Colorado, we look upon him as a founding father. Most historians, however, consider his founding of San Francisco in 1776 as a more important contribution.
At any rate, those historians and history buffs gather in one place every year to compare notes at the Anza World Conference, and much of this year’s conference will be held in the San Luis Valley.
It’s set up for people to fly into Albuquerque, then convene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26 at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fé. After lunch there, they’ll follow Anza’s route north to Monte Vista, where they can try a moonlight horse ride to get the feel of Anza’s night moves 220 years ago.
From there, the schedule looks like this:
Friday, Aug. 27
8:30 a.m.: Meet at SLV Information Center in Monte Vista.
9 a.m.: Tour of Anza campsites at La Jara Creek, Rio San Lorenza, El Paso de San Bartoleme, and La Garita.
Noon: Lunch at La Garita Trading Post.
1 p.m.: Travel to Hunt Spring for presentation on Ute Camp.
3 p.m.: Travel to San Dunes for presentation on Manual Segura’s journey across Mosca Pass.
5 p.m.: Return to Monte Vista.
Saturday, Aug. 28
9 a.m.: Meet at Monte Vista Central Auditorium for presentations of papers.
Noon: Catered lunch at high school cafeteria.
1 p.m.: Second session of papers.
4 p.m.: Tour wagon tracks west of Monte Vista.
Sunday, Aug. 29
9 a.m.: Sangre de Cristo pass tour.
Noon: Lunch at San Luis, followed by tour of museum and cultural center.
For more information about registration, costs, lodging, etc., you can email to email@example.com, call Vista Travel at 719-852-4786, or write to Vista Travel, 20 North Broadway, Monte Vista, CO 81144. Registration deadline is Aug. 1.