Founding Father of New Mexico, Governor Don Juan de Onate
In I598 Governor Onate Founded The First Capital of La Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico Province of the Viceroyality of New Spain
Governor Don Juan de Onate, founded the first Capital of New Mexico, and indeed, the first seat of government in what is now the United States, at San Juan de Los Caballeros (San Juan-Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) in the Valle de San Juan, now known as the beautiful Espanola Valley, bringing with him over 400 settlers. Later, the capital was moved across the Rio Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) to San Gabriel de los Espanoles, New Mexico’s second capital. In 1610, the capital was moved to Santa Fe, where it remained to this day, and is considered New Mexico’s third capital.
Governor Onate is portrayed by Samuel Herrera Roybal y Duran and, his son, Cristobal de Onate, portrayed by Bernardo Montoya, are shown here during the Fiesta del Valle de Espanola y de Onate’s Grand Parade on Sunday, July 10. The Parade is typically one of the Fiesta’s more popular events symbolically ending the three-day celebration. Entertainment continues into the evening, however.
Photo by Robert A. Naranjo/valleydailypost.com