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Mari-Luci Jaramillo with her brother in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Mari-Luci Jaramillo with her brother in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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Sacred Seeds: A Girl, her Abuelos, and the Heart of Northern New Mexico

Author: Mari-Luci Jaramillo
Artist: Cecilia J. Navarrete

It’s the 1930s in rural New Mexico. So what do you do if money is scarce and your father is even more scarce? You’ll walk with your mother on a twelve-mile cross-country journey to a remote ranchito. There, your abuelos just might know the way forward.

Mari-Luci tells the story of her own coming of age in the 1930s, stories of the every-day and the out-of-the-ordinary, stories of how she learned to value community, faith, love, tradition, and learning.

Featuring family photographs and sketches by Cecilia J. Navarrete, this collection of stories reveals the observant eye and open heart of the girl who became Madame Ambassador.

This collection of 32 coming of age stories by Mari-Luci Jaramillo, former US Ambassador to Honduras, recounts life on a remote ranch in the 1930s in northern New Mexico. Each chapter includes an illustration. The text is in English, and incorporates Spanish.

Language(s): English with Spanish

ISBN number:  
HC ISBN: 9781939604-347 ($24.95; 236 pages; 5.5x8.5 in.)
PB ISBN: 9781939604-354 ($14.95; 236 pages; 5.5x8.5 in.)

Publication Date:  Forthcoming  2019
Interest Level:  Ages 12 and up
Key Words: Woman Ambassador; Coming of Age; Hispanic Culture; 1930s New Mexico; Childhood Vignettes; Great Depression; American Southwest

Table of Contents: 1: Where do I begin?; Escape to my Happy Place; 2: The Journey to Paradise; 3: The Place We Called Home; 4: Special Treats; Community; 5: Leaving Nothing to Chance; 6: Onward to Church; 7: Memorable Blessings; 8: Las Fiestas; 9: Nanita’s Miracles; 10: My First Penitente Encounter; 11: Mysterious Chanting; Fun Pursuits; 12: Adventures with Dick and June; 13: Our Pet Menagerie; 14: A Tail in the Air; 15: Games We Played; 16: Discovering a Hidden Treasure; 17: The Ultimate Game; 18: Dances in the Schoolhouse; Lessons; 19: Las Acequias; 20: Our Own Healer; 21: Cleansing Rituals; 22: Scary Stories and Dichos; 23: A Night to Remember; Adios; 24: The Last Goodbye; Mi Gran Familia; Papito; Mamita; Hermanita; Hermanito; ¡Y Yo!; Nanita; Rampo; Compadres y Comadres; Family Photographs

"Former U.S. Ambassador and former Vice President of the University of New Mexico, Mari-Luci Jaramillo, is well known as a highly intelligent and wonderfully caring person, deeply committed to a life of service and helping others. Reading her terrific new book about her early years, Sacred Seeds, we now know how, where, and why she came to be the way she is and always has been. Lucky us!"  Former U. S. Senator Fred Harris, co-editor of Healing Our Divided Society.

“With Sacred Seeds, Mari-Luci Jaramillo has woven together the cultural fabric that is New Mexico.” – Ana Pacheco, Historian of New Mexico

“At times funny, poignant, exciting and mysterious, these 32 vignettes are windows to the past and hold subtle important lessons for living today. The author’s experience is rural Northern New Mexico during the 1930s, but the themes ring universal.” – Anne Hillerman,  Best-Selling Author

“a wonderful story of a young girl’s rich experiences in a rapidly disappearing way of life.” – Doyle Daves, Award-Winning Author

“The Good Old Days before telephones, television, internet, cars, planes, running water, electricity, Facebook, snapchat, and Instagram. Join Mari-Luci as she retells her lived experiences growing up on her abuelos’ ranchito before becoming an ambassador was even a dream, let alone a reality.” – Dr. JoAnn Canales,  Professor of Education and Human Development

Sacred Seeds is a MUST read:  The foundation, details and cultural tones highlighted by the Honorable Mari Luci Jaramillo will fill you with love, warmth, and laughter.” – Dr. Loui Olivas,  President, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education



Dr. JoAnn Canales,  Professor of Education and Human Development

Doyle Daves, Award-Winning Author

Anne Hillerman,  Best-Selling Author

Dr. Loui Olivas,  President, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education

Ana Pacheco, Historian of New Mexico


  • 2019, July 22: Launch party by invitation only.

  • 2019, August 17, 3pm: Reading at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • 2019, October 12, 2pm: Reading at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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