A community memory project recording the history of communities in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Focused on a region whose people have been impacted by historic trauma and the consequences of extractive practices, the Manitos Community Memory Project (MCM Project) is set in an arc that begins with loss but bends toward restorative justice.

The MCM Project is a collaborative initiative to build an online digital cultural heritage archive by and for Manitos, the Indo-Hispano natives of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado living in the region and in the diaspora, and grounded in the firm belief that memory, story and collections hold tremendous value.

MCM Project activities include community-based all ages events, internships, online training, and workshops. Manitos partners build and manage their own archives under the community umbrella. Partners benefit from the support of the entire network, including access to digitization equipment and an archiving platform, as well as ongoing training and support.

The MCM Project welcomes inquiries and participation from: Rural libraries, community centers, and other nonprofit organizations; independent researchers; academic scholars; classroom educators and students; institutional affiliates; creative practitioners; community activists; anyone interested in learning more about Manito history and culture!

Play Video


Prototypes and demonstration projects for activating and animating archival material through community engagement produced by interns and faculty from the New Mexico Highlands University Department of Media Arts & Technology include: posters and placemats; Cuadernos – focus on natural remedies (Volume 1) and food sovereignty (Volume 2); interactive timeline; bailes and matanzas; animations and short form videos; multimedia and online exhibits.

Additional core components of the Manitos Community Memory project can be explored via the links below.


In response to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Manitos Community Memory Project launched the Manitos Cuadernos Series in the summer of 2020. This series of notebooks serves as a compelling repository of stories, reflections, and insights bridging a century of communal experiences from the Spanish Flu to the pandemic of 2020 to the wildfires of 2022. The notebooks reflect the resilience and richness of the villages of northern New Mexico, southern Colorado and the Indo-Hispanic diaspora connected to this region.

These cuadernos honor the legacy and ongoing stories of Manitos (“Manitos” slang for hermanitos, as well as a play on mano or hand, reinforcing cultural values rooted in hard work and mutual aid) and serve as a bridge for cultural understanding, connecting the past and present, inviting readers to explore the rich cultural heritage of these isolated villages scattered across a geographic region that extends from northern New Mexico into southern Colorado—to communities as virtual spaces inclusive of people living in the villages and those living in diaspora.

A free resource for classroom teachers, librarians and individuals to reflect on the personal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while exploring archival information celebrating food sovereignty by season in rural northern New Mexico. Deluxe package includes a boxed set of four issues, a blank Cuaderno, and a bookmark with prompts for reflection. View all four Cuadernos here:

The art was created by Natasha Vasquez and Lily Padilla, students at the New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts and Technology program, and interns for the Manitos Community Memory Project (MCMP). Writing by Dr. Patricia Perea, director of the MCMP.

Funding for this project comes from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and from the American Rescue Plan, which provided funds for pandemic response and recovery.


Learn more about Manito history, tradition, and culture through the stories shared through exhibitions from our partners at the Millicent Rogers Museum, local storytellers featured in our Pasa Por Aquí blog and special guests in Starting Conversations discussions. 

Funding for this project comes from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and from the American Rescue Plan, which provided funds for pandemic response and recovery.