The ceremonial grounds represent the sweat, blood, tears and love of our Genízaro Apache Community. This ground that we call Tlaltepec (Tierra y Monte) has always been Apache land. Ownership of the land began with the Las Vegas Land Grant, the Mora Land Grant and the Manuelitas Land Grant following colonization of the area. The land has passed through Apache family ownership for over 200 years. In 2000, eight acres were formally set aside for ceremonial purposes. This area has been used for sweat lodge ceremonies, naming ceremonies, adoption ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, fasting ceremonies (vision quests), sacred dances, velaciones (vigils), and funeral services for over 20 years. Our children have grown up attending ceremonies and learning traditional customs on this land. Up to this day, spirit camps and retreats have been held regularly on the property. Hundreds of our community members from across Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California have traveled every year to participate in our annual Spirit Camps, to reconnect with other members of the community and to spiritually regenerate from living in the contemporary competitive culture.
The Hermit’s Peak fire caused extensive damage to our grounds. We look to rebuild the areas incinerated by the blaze. This will require reconstructing our community center with bathrooms, showers, and kitchens, a large indoor ceremonial space, and bedrooms to house the elders. The outdoor ceremonial site will require a rebuilding of the kiva, temazcalli, firekeepers’ shelter, tool and storage sheds, and replacing the fencing, gates and driveway.