New Mexico’s Third Congressional District is a region which lays claim to an array of cultural, architectural, and natural diversity. From the lush green mountains in the north to the increasingly metropolitan communities around Rio Rancho, the Third Congressional District is diverse, expansive, and spectacular.
Santa Fe, the state capital, is the oldest capital city in the country. The city celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2010 and is home to many landmarks. Santa Fe was once the final destination for many settlers heading west on the Santa Fe Trail. A 16th century form of Spanish, spoken nowhere else in the world today, is still spoken in towns such as Truchas, Chimayo, and Coyote. New Mexico's state constitution officially holds that New Mexico is a bilingual state, and 1 out of 3 families in New Mexico speak Spanish at home.
In the north central region, the Rocky Mountains tower over the Rio Grande Valley. Spring yields a plethora of water from melting snow to the waiting valleys which rely on this precious commodity to irrigate fertile fields and crops. The water finds its way to the people of the Third Congressional District through the centuries-old aceqiuas (irrigation ditches), dug by hand and still maintained by local farmers and gardeners. To this day, traditions in place for generations such as feast days, fiestas, farming, grazing, hunting, and religious ceremonies are distinct practices that continue to be integrated into the evolving lives of New Mexicans throughout the district. In its own unique way, the Third Congressional District has preserved traditional ways while embracing new technologies.
The vast territory of the Navajo Nation stretches farther than the eye can see. In northwestern New Mexico, shades of brown and red give definition to the mesa tops, making the landscape appear more like an artist’s vision rather than a natural occurrence. The Third Congressional District has inspired artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Aldous Huxley, and has served as a refuge for rough riders such Billy the Kid, Jessie James, and Wyatt Earp. The same land that endured the old west and the birth of the nuclear era has evolved to the forefront of space aged technology and the green world. To the locals, Taos is known as the solar capitol of the world and integrates solar technology into many institutions such as its houses and its community college. Intel bases a research and development division of their business out of Rio Rancho.
A large part of New Mexican history encompasses a story of conflict between settlers and Native Americans, but today the Third Congressional District prides itself on the close relationship which has developed between tribal nations and their neighbors.
Notably, the Third Congressional District includes 15 Pueblo tribes, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Navajo Nation. The indigenous communities in this region have lived in the same location longer than any other culture in the country. In fact, Taos Pueblo has thrived in the same area for 900 years and is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in the United States.
The historical, cultural, environmental and geographic significance of New Mexico’s northern district has long played a role in shaping the history of our nation and our world. The Manhattan Project was completed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1940’s. Los Alamos National Labratory still operates today as one of the top research facilities in the nation, continuing to make scientific advances through innovative technology and research, including environmental science and renewable energy development. Scientific research, mining, tourism, and natural resources (such as oil, natural gas, copper, coal, zinc, gold and silver) all play a vital role in New Mexican Economy.
Thousands of tourists flock to New Mexico every year to experience its rich history and the New Mexican way of living – a way of living proudly based on the past, present and future. From its humble beginnings to its place at the forefront of technology, the Third Congressional District has played a vital role in shaping the world as we see it today. The ability of the Third Congressional District to simultaneously live in the past and present while embracing the future has given it a distinct fingerprint which has always and will always yield inspiration and discovery to all who embrace it.
Do You Live In The 3rd District?
New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District includes San Juan, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Taos, Colfax, Harding, Union, Mora, San Miguel, Quay, Curry, and Roosevelt Counties. It also contains most of Santa Fe, McKinley and Sandoval Counties and parts of Bernalillo County. Visit the House of Representatives' website and enter your zip code to determine in you live in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.