Colorado’s 150th anniversary

250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

Mystic San Luis Valley

south-central colorado

Home to the oldest town in Colorado, San Luis, this incredible region is a treasure trove of deep cultural roots, Indigenous, Hispanic, and religious heritage, and vibrant history. The Ute People began using the San Luis valley around 1400, hunting bison and other large game and gathering roots, nuts, and berries along its main waterways. Over the next several hundred years, the San Luis Valley was used and traversed by the Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Native peoples, but it was most frequently occupied by three distinct bands of Utes: the Tabeguache, Muache, and Capote. 

Spanish explorers made forays into the Valley as they traveled through the land that would become Southern Colorado in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Land grants from the Spanish and Mexican governments encouraged settlement. And in 1851, Mexican settlers established the town of San Luis, today the oldest town in Colorado. Throughout the Valley, Spanish and Mexican generational legacies can be found in the heritage and cultural practices of the families who still live there.

Bordered by stunning mountain ranges, featuring the striking landscapes of the high alpine desert valley, and home to the headwaters of the Rio Grande River, the San Luis Valley is one of the most beautiful environments in the state and has an extensive history of ranching and farming, that is still the backbone of the region to this day. 

In the Valley, the residents are the guardians of a wondrous heritage and profound beauty who invite curious travelers to discover and fall in love with this remarkable region.

south-central colorado
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Connect with your Local 250-150 Committee

South-Central Colorado’s commemorative efforts are being coordinated by Local Organizing Committees, made up of community members and local leaders. Led by Commission Advisory Panel members, these committees are working to engage the community through idea generation, community outreach, and local event planning for Colorado’s Sesquisemiquincentennial.

To learn more about local efforts, contact Advisory Panel members, or to get involved, connect here

Advisory Panel Members

The America 250 - Colorado 150 Advisory Panel is a geographically-diverse committee of individuals that inform the Commission and lead Local Organizing Committees. These individuals represent your region on this Advisory Panel and lead your Local Organizing Committee.

Rep. Donald Valdez

Rep. Donald Valdez

Mystic San Luis Valley

Mystic San Luis Valley Events

America 250 - Colorado 150 Newsletter