Gloria Robinson

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Biography, Historical Non-Fiction


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Gloria Robinson was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1947 and spent part of her youth in the South Broadway-Williams community while living with her grandmother and attending John Marshall School and St. Francis Xavier Church. While growing up in the Williams community she and her family participated in the annual Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, serving as little Angels as an introduction to the Mexican culture of celebrating La Fiesta.

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Having spent most of my youth growing up in the Williams community on the southeast side of Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was immersed in the culture of La Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) from a very young age. Thanks to my maternal grandmother, it left an indelible mark on my identity as a sixteenth generation New Mexican. We attended St. Francis Xavier Church, went to school at John Marshall Elementary, and enjoyed shopping at the Santiago neighborhood store. Our multi-generational family included my mother Ramona, my sister Linda, and younger brother Valentino. We lived with my abuela (grandmother) Angelica, along with her daughter (my Aunt Rose) and her son, my cousin Louie. After the death of my father John Chavez, my mother, sister, brother and I moved to the North Valley.

My grandmother Angelica grew up in the village of San Antoñito, New Mexico, in Sandia Park, Bernalillo County, where the Matachine culture was a part of her religious life and the way the community celebrated their faith. She married Juan Gonzales from Glorieta, New Mexico, and they moved to the Williams community where she spent most of her life. The Matachine culture is a religious celebration of native peoples in the Americas; the dance began as a dance of drama that dates back to the Moors in Spain. It is an ancient tradition with its origin as a dance that dramatizes the battle between Christianity and paganism. The Spanish brought this tradition with them and introduced it into the New World.


Title: Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Published: 2021
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction

This book tells the history of a Catholic religious fiesta honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe that is celebrated each year in December in the South Broadway community of Williams in Albuquerque. It will be celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2024! The book informs the reader about the faith, the customs and culture that were brought to this country by immigrant families from La Barca Jalisco, Mexico who settled in the Williams Community of Albuquerque. The fiesta begins the weekend closest to the Feast Day of December 12th with Saturday evening prayer, then a candlelight procession. On Sunday a Mariachi Mass is celebrated, followed by an afternoon procession, “The Walk of Faith,” with hundreds of people walking through the Williams barrio. This book chronicles the history of La Fiesta and hopefully inspires succeeding generations of Guadalupanos to carry on the traditions and customs of their ancestors.

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