El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a living history museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The museum is located on 200 acres of rural farming and is dedicated to the heritage and culture of Spanish Colonial New Mexico and opened in 1972. The buildings on the site date back to the early 18th Century and from parts of northern New Mexico, which have been reconstructed at Las Golondrinas.
At the museum live shows are performed to show how people lived their lives in early New Mexico. They have special festivals and theme weekends for visitors to allow them an in-depth look into celebrations, music, dance and other parts of life in this period.
Self-guided tours are available at the museum from June to September. Volunteers of the museum will greet visitors throughout the museum dressed in periodic clothing. Group tours are able to be arranged through contacting the museum to organize the tour.
Little girls who visit the museum will get to know about Maria Josefina Montoya who was a Hispanic girl whose heart was full of hope. Reservations are required to allow visitors to view her family El Rancho, which was recreated in Las Golondrinas.
The ranch is one of the most historic ranches in the southwest that was acquired by Miguel Vega y Coca around 1710. There are many historic buildings at the museum, which have been restored or authentic structures which have been erected on old foundations at the site. The museum includes an 18th century house that is complete with a defensive tower, a 19th century home, a molasses mill, primitive water mills, blacksmith shops, a winery and vineyards, which depict the elements of Spanish Colonial culture.
The museum hopes to provide and understanding, respect for and pride in the culture and history of Spanish Colonial New Mexico along with the language. Emphasis is based of the museum to be an educational facility and welcomes tours for school groups, workshops or seminars.
The museum is a member of the Association for Living Historical Farms and Agriculture Museum and is a charitable and non-profit organization. A shop is located at the museum stocking artwork, craft, and fine religious art from New Mexico, pieces of ironwork, pottery, jewelry and textiles, which were made in a traditional colonial style.
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas was listed as one of the 100 best wedding destinations in the United States, the site has a modern catering kitchen with an eating area, three plazas and an orientation center. Las Golondrinas is able to host meetings and private events that can blend modern facilities with a historic theme. Docents who are dressed in costume are able to welcome guests and answer any guests' questions about the ranch. The ranch is also available for film and photo shoots.