Building blocks for Hispanic History lesson plans


The oldest business in Colorado

Hispanic owned R & R Grocery is the oldest continuously operating business in Colorado.  Built by Dario Gallegos in 1857 in the town of San Luis, the business is still run by the Gallegos family and is over 150 years old!  Dario’s daughter, Genoveva is depicted in the Women’s Gold Tapestry which hangs in the State Capitol.

Our Constitution

The Colorado State Constitution was originally written in English, Spanish, and German. The State Archives still have the original Spanish Constitution.

Bigger than Connecticut

Mexican Land Grants were awarded to prominent citizens in 1843. Some of them were 4,000,000 acres, that’s 6250 square miles! These land grants together were larger than the entire state of Connecticut.

A river border

The Arkansas River that runs through Pueblo served as the official a border between the United States and Spain for 29 years.  Even before it became the official border, the Arkansas had served as a borderland between cultures for perhaps 1000 years, and continues to do so today.

A man of great influence

Casimiro Barela, a rancher originally from New Mexico was elected a territorial legislature and later became a state legislator once Colorado became a state in 1876.  He was so influential that he drove the crafting of the State Constitution in Spanish along with English and German.  He served for an incredible 40 years and is one of sixteen leaders immortalized in stained glass in the State Capitol.

Many, many years

When the English colonists landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, Spain had already been in the American Southwest for 88 years!