The Jews in Albuquerque:
A Southwestern Community
ALBUQUERQUE, originally settled in 1708, lies on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico, some sixty miles south of Santa Fe. Running through the city is the ancient Camino Real, laid out by the Conquistadores from Mexico to Santa Fe; it is now U.S. 85, part of the Pan-American Highway. The Rio Grande valley is one of the few fertile areas in this region and when drought hit the country to the northwest in the 13th century, most of the local Indians, who had been living on the sides of cliffs, abandoned their villages-”pueblos”- and migrated into the valley. There are pueblos to the north, west, and south of Albuquerque today.
To the east of the city are the Sandia and Manzano mountains, which rise to peaks of 10,000 feet; a high long ridge to the west is punctuated by extinct volcanic cones. Albuquerque, itself a mile high, lies between these two rises; the older residences and the business section are on the valley floor, the newer sections on the “heights.” The city features splendid open panoramas of mountains and of desolate, brown tableland- “mesa.” Cactus and other desert plants grow freely on the mesa.
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