Meet The Staff
Levi Romero, Assistant Professor in Chicana and Chicano Studies, and director of the New Mexico Cultural Studies Certificate Program in CCS, is from the Embudo Valley of northern New Mexico.
Romero’s documentary work focuses on cultural landscapes studies and sustainable building methodologies of northern New Mexico, including centuries-old traditions of acequia systems, molinos, salas and other agrarian and cultural contexts related to the upper Rio Grande watershed. He is also assisting on several community projects, including La Sala Filantropica as an Oral History Documentation and Archive Center in Embudo. He is the author of several award winning books, Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland, A Poetry of Remembrance, and In the Gathering of Silence. His film documentary, Going Home Homeless, received the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Taos Short Films Festival. He was awarded the post of New Mexico Centennial Poet in 2012.
Dr. VANESSA FONSECA
Vanessa Fonseca is from Grants, New Mexico. The Chávez family on her mom’s side settled in Atarque, NM, working as sheepherders until the 1950’s when the family moved to Grants/Gallup area in search of work. Vanessa has followed the Manito Trail many times as she traveled back and forth from Arizona to New Mexico to complete a Ph.D. at Arizona State and, later, from Laramie, Wyoming to New Mexico during her first academic appointment at the University of Wyoming. She continues to travel a familiar segment of the Manito Trail in Arizona as she reconnects often with her family and culture.
Vanessa is an assistant professor of English at Arizona State University Polytechnic. She teaches courses on Chicana/o, Latina/o, and Indigenous literature and cultural production. Her research interest includes transnational Chicana/o literature and contemporary manifestations of colonial legacies in Chicana/o and Indigenous literature. She is the Co-Director of the Following the Manito Trail Project.
ADAM P. HERRERA
Adam Herrera is the producer of the Following the Manito Trail documentary project. He is also a Digital Media Editor for the University of Wyoming and is a former award-winning photographer and newspaper journalist. He has also been a member of two cultural documentary projects to South India and Chile.
Herrera grew up in Grand Ledge, Michigan, and has lived and worked in Wyoming for the past six years. He holds two degrees in Professional Photography and Journalism and Digital Media.
Robert Perea is a Masters Candidate in English at the University of Wyoming. He hails from Cheyenne, Wyoming and holds degrees in Religious Studies and English from the University of Wyoming.
Perea's family roots are in the Questa and Costilla communities of New Mexico.
Graduate Assistant, University of New Mexico
Trisha Martinez is a Ph.D student at the University of New Mexico in American Studies. Her research areas of interest include: cultural performance (folklórico and flamenco), southwest borderlands, women of color feminisms, and transnationalism.
Martinez was born in Wyoming and in pursuing her academic endeavors she’s traveled down the Manito Trail to return to the land of her family and ancestors. Her family’s roots are embedded in both Valdez and Mora New Mexico. For her family, traveling the Manito Trail has been a way to sustain financial stability, as well as to maintain their cultural and familial connections.