Michael Hegyi isn't technically a newcomer, as he actually lived in Albuquerque for a number of years as a child. But he was gone for 11 years, only returning in May of last year, so we think he still counts.
The first time Hegyi came to New Mexico he was accompanied by a fair amount of strife. “My parents had just divorced; it was chaotic, and it made my impression of the city chaotic as well. When we first moved here, our house was broken into and our car was stolen. But that was a long time ago; things are different now.”
Hegyi returned most recently to apply for medical school at the University of New Mexico Hospital, and this time around, his impressions are much more optimistic.
One of Hegyi's favorite things to do in New Mexico is attend pueblo festivals from local tribes.
“I always like going to Isleta. My mom's a physician and works for the tribe and so we always find out about different celebrations. ... I especially like the dances around harvest time that rotate between clans; sometimes they'll last three to four days. Different houses participate and we'll eat five or six times a day and gather around the fire. Outsiders need to be invited into homes, but [tribal members] are really friendly and sometimes they'll pull you in off the street. It's a beautiful place to be.”
You can contact Isleta Pueblo to ask what celebrations are coming up that are open to the public by calling (505) 869-3111. You can also visit their website at isletapueblo.com to find out more.