Although our population isn’t huge, New Mexico is a geographically vast state. So our experiences and lifestyles vary dramatically. That makes it tough to identify every type of New Mexican you might run into. But here are a few of the characters you may well encounter in the Land of Enchantment.
1. Long-time locals
These New Mexicans have roots in the state that go back for many generations. They're proud of their heritage and rightly so.
These folk were drawn here by job opportunities in scientific fields such as aerospace, research, or biotech. The beautiful nature they explore in their free time is an added bonus.
3. Nature lovers
From hiking, to skiing, to rafting, these New Mexicans are perpetually outdoors. Did someone mention camping? They're so in.
Cowboys and cowgirls are the ones wearing their hats to keep the sun off their faces, rather than as a fashion statement. They come into town for supplies, but are happiest out on the land.
From livestock farmers to organic farmers, these folk work hard to produce the food we need. Increasingly, New Mexican farmers are partnering with schools and restaurants as part of the farm-to-table movement.
It can be hard to tell the difference between these two groups because they have a lot in common. You're likely to spot them pulling into the farmers market in their bumper sticker-covered car.
There are artists' enclaves throughout the state, from cities to towns that are barely a blip on the map. New Mexico's gorgeous light and dramatic landscapes provide inspiration to many.
Some transplants blend into their chosen community with ease. Others get a little overexcited, buy a leather jacket with fringe and bury themselves under a pound of turquoise.
Foodies know all the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants that others never discover. They're serious about New Mexican cuisine.
New Mexico is often billed as a great place to retire. Of course some retirees are local but others relocate here to take advantage of the sun and nature.
It's unclear if they're passing through or are residents, but New Mexico is full of bikers. Given that we have a ton of scenic drives and plenty of open road, it makes sense.
The other kind of bikers! Mention a "century" and cyclists here are more likely to think "100 miles" than "100 years."
No matter the cause, these New Mexicans aren't shy about exercising their First Amendment rights.
14. Everyone else!
I didn't want you to feel left out if you don't identify with any of these groups. These are only generalizations about some of the many people who call New Mexico home.
Do one or more of these descriptions apply to you? What groups did we overlook? Let us know in the comments.