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New Mexico Colleges

New Mexico Colleges


New Mexico is a state with a fascinating history.  It was colonized by the Spaniards when in 1609; a Spanish explorer who came north from the Spanish colony of Mexico founded the city of Santa Fe.  The city became the colonial capital; two years later another Spanish outpost was founded at Albuquerque.  Spanish settlers moved into northern Mexico where their descendants remain today.  Many of the families had received land grants from the Spanish Crown and some of those ranches are still occupied by their Hispanic heirs. 


The area was the subject of a good deal of political and military disagreement during and after the War with Mexico, fought from 1846-1846.  New Mexico and Arizona were ceded to the U.S. following that war. Along with California and parts of Colorado, Arizona was split off from New Mexico in 1863 and statehood for New Mexico followed shortly thereafter.


New Mexico is primarily high desert.  The mean altitude there is over 5,000 feet.  Areas of desert pockmarked with plateaus and rock formations are interspersed with forested mountain areas and peaks.  The peaks are part of the Rocky Mountain chain and they are scattered through the state in a series of smaller ranges.  Santa Fe and Taos are both well up in elevation, while Albuquerque is at a lower elevation along the Rio Grande River.


Albuquerque is the largest city in the state at about 400,000 people.  It is undergoing tremendous growth currently and drawing its share of new industry.  For decades the city has manufactured wood products with the lumber harvested in northern New Mexico and served as a processing and distribution point for the state’s agricultural products.  Sandia National Laboratories is a research center operated by the United States Department of Energy, located there and serving as a magnet for private industry.  Albuquerque has attracted a number of companies involved in cutting edge electronics including lasers, data processing and solar energy.  Intel is one of the state’s larger employers.


Santa Fe is a city of stark, high desert beauty centered on the old town square and filled with historic pueblo structures.  It remains the state’s capitol and has become a major tourist attraction, drawn by the extensive art community there and the galleries that line many commercial avenues.  Taos is a little smaller, a little less polished and a little higher in the mountains.  Winter skiing resorts near there have served to develop year-round tourist traffic to the mountainous area.


New Mexico is a state whose time has come.  Both industrial and real estate development are proceeding there along parallel tracks, particularly in the area of Albuquerque.  There the boom town atmosphere is becoming pervasive, but the development is not nearly as chaotic as, for instance, in Las Vegas.  Albuquerque has also become a magnet for electronic industries and R&D, drawn by the history of the old research facilities, the low labor costs and the availability of workers.


There are the usual state colleges and universities available, as well as the online education opportunities and the smaller campuses such as the University of Phoenix.  New Mexico is a place of great natural beauty, it is not yet overrun by newcomers and there is a lot of high tech business moving into the area.  It would have to be a top choice for any ambitious soul in search of a technology career.

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