Meet the Tribe
We have a common culture but different ancestry. Our love of New Mexico links us all. It is the pulse in our veins. It is our mindset. It is our inner spirit and our spirituality. It is the gift that we share with our extended families, our guests, and our kindred spirits. New Mexico is our guide and we are her storytellers. New Mexico is sacred, mothering, and feeds the soul. Our tribe at Heritage Inspirations has the responsibility of sharing the enchantment of this land with our guests. We are like minded and bound in our intertwined roots with each and everyone who is open to receiving New Mexico’s gifts.
We are bound to the strength in our bodies, the clarity of our minds, the purity of our spirit and the devotion to our brothers and sisters. We are New Mexico. We are one with the land and the sky. Our Heritage Inspirations tribe is one with our brothers and sisters, the heat of the sun, the drops of rain, the blowing sands, the fire in our souls and the twinkling stars above.
angelisa murray, CEO + Inspired Guide
“Heritage Inspirations is my love letter to New Mexico and to you.”
After the culmination of Angelisa’s life’s experience in the field and in this state, she has cultivated Heritage Inspirations LLC, New Mexico’s Premier Travel Company. Composed of a tribe of similar heartfelt folks who have rooted themselves to New Mexico, the H.I. family prides itself on cultural relevance, being relational and localized, honoring the Earth, and trailblazing New Mexico’s spirit. Being a humble steward of New Mexico means a strong ecological mindset (please leave no trace!) and developing a visceral connective tissue to the land and its peoples.
Angelisa’s commitment to cultural preservation was natural and began at an early age. The descendant of the Espinoza and Maestas families of the San Luis Valley, she grew up learning family recipes from her grandparents, and remembers when Grandpa Tato brought a satellite to San Antonio MT providing TV for Taos.
The tours she has developed are about unveiling the other truths that are often not known or seen, like the wild diversity of alpine mountains saturated in aspens, pines, and wildflowers meadows, while only 30 miles to the west the land is painted in oranges, pinks, reds, and whites. Monumental rocks and earth are layered and stacked, eroded, and split open – just awaiting the artist’s canvas. Angelisa has successfully inspired the H.I. team to connect their guests with the culture and wild beauty of our state.
Read more about this “Woman Who Sparks Passion for the Land of Enchantment” »
Noah Blessey, Director of Operations
Noah’s love for New Mexico was immediate the first time he visited in 1996 when his family relocated from the East Coast. His own move to The Land of Enchantment in the early 2000s further solidified his appreciation and respect for its diverse cultures and uniqueness. A world traveler who prefers exploring the planet’s more off the beaten path places, Noah has enjoyed navigating the dusty roads of Southern Africa, winding on a road bike through Eastern Europe, and traversing the cultures and landscapes of Southeast Asia. His passion for exploring the world and its various cultures has only reaffirmed his belief that New Mexico is one of the most distinctive places in the United States.
Lauren Hershiser, Taos Office Administrator + Tour Coordinator
Lauren moved from California to Taos when she was only six years old. Growing up in the small town of Carson on the other side of the Gorge Bridge, she had to create her own fun by climbing trees, riding bikes, and hiking in the old pinon forests. Lauren’s curiosity for New Mexico has been perpetual, and she still loves to study its geology, plants, animals, history, art and culture. She resonates with H.I. because she is part of a tribe of unique individuals who share a passion for New Mexico. She explains, “I hope that by helping facilitate these tours, I am helping to nurture that same growth of learning about something new and interesting for each guest that takes part in our tours.” https://heritageinspirations.com/artist-tour/
Lauren is the Taos office administrator and tour coordinator. She looks forward to helping you get booked on your next Taos tour.
our inspired GUIDES
Travis Gibson | Santa Fe Inspired E-Bike Guide + Wellness Walking Guide
An avid hiker, biker and skier, Travis Gibson was born and raised in Santa Fe and continually adventures throughout New Mexico exploring the mountains and desert canyons. For Travis there is nothing better than camping under a starry sky. He is fervent about New Mexico’s history and has cultivated a wealth of knowledge to share with our guests Whether skiing in Taos or backpacking in the Gila Wilderness and Sangre de Cristos, Travis is inspired by the wild beauty and culture of New Mexico. Join Travis on one of our Santa Fe on E-Bikes tours, and take in everything this cultural city and inspired guide has to offer!
Mickey Fong | Santa Fe Inspired Guide
Mickey is Dine (Navajo) born and raised in New Mexico. Her ancestral Navajo lineage has deep roots in New Mexico and connects her profoundly to the land. Recently she changed career paths to explore New Mexico and its culture by bicycle. Mickey has spearheaded skills clinics, group rides, and organized cycling events. Her journey to becoming a guide for H.I. has been an organic evolution of this passion. “Sharing my knowledge, experiences, and stories of living here in the southwest is what I love to do!” she explains.
Sandy Katz | Santa Fe Inspired Walking Tour Guide
When Sandy Katz first visited New Mexico in 1997, she immediately fell in love with the Land of Enchantment. She explains, “When I got here, it all made sense. The skies, the clarity of colors, and the amazingly clean air. I knew that I wanted to make this my home.” Sandy eventually moved to Santa Fe in 2005 and she joined the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary Committee, where she helped organize a series of events to commemorate the oldest capital in the United States. She utilized this opportunity to be a true student of Santa Fe’s history.. Sandy explains, “Guiding tours gives me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and share the beauty and unique history of Santa Fe.”
She’s excited to share her knowledge with you as she leads the Santa Fe Architectural and Interiors Walking Tours.
Josh Willette | Taos Inspired Glamping Chef
Josh grew up in Taos but traveled around the West as he developed his culinary career. In Napa, Josh ran a catering company called Smoke Open Fire Catering. The premise of the company was to cook in front of the guests, using only local meats and vegetables, on an open fire and in a rustic outdoor setting. These dinners were often held at wineries and served as extravagant wine paired meals. “I got to work very closely with not only the wineries, but with the growers and farmers in the area, to create experiences that combined a rustic feel with the elevated quality of fine dining. The experience is similar to what we create with the glamping excursions at H.I.,” Josh explains.
Lizzy Simmons | Taos Inspired Guide + Strategic Creator
Following the pandemic, Lizzy landed in New Mexico. After being caught up in the corporate hustle, she longed for an escape, a reprieve, so she began ski instructing in Taos…and just like that, she was hooked! Following her inaugural ski season, she began scheming ways to stay.
Lizzy reflects, “My background is in art, and I was drawn to Taos because of its rich history and art scene.” The more time she spent in Taos, she found that everyone had this artistic and outdoorsy duality. Heritage Inspirations epitomizes this intersection of arts, culture, and the outdoors. Where else can you snowshoe in the backcountry, look at 1000+ year-old Puebloan structures, and discuss the area’s centuries-old art traditions? Oh wait, and all while being located in a rift valley! Taos is just the place.
Join Lizzy on any of the Taos tours. Her must-do tours are the Artisan Walking Tour + Chocolate, Snowshoeing Day Tour, and Horno Baking at Taos Pueblo – UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sequoia Lefthand | Taos Inspired Guide
A New Mexico native from the Taos Pueblo, the culture of her home influenced her to discover how to connect her work to her community. Throughout her life she took on jobs in the Taos community that would strengthen her knowledge of the environment which would lead her to complete a few Americorps terms with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. First as a crew member in 2017 and also spent some time as an assistant crew leader of a 8 person chainsaw crew in 2018. With this crew she would camp for days at time at their worksites throughout Taos county, fulfilling projects with the Forest Service to provide wood to community members while also contributing to the health of the forests. In 2023, she was able to complete a massage therapy certification through UNM Taos with the scholarships collected from the Americorps terms. Earning life skills and embedding the knowledge of the health of an ecosystem like the deciduous forests of where her ancestors resided. Hiking into the ruins of ancestral sites was a regular activity so she became a guide for Taos Pueblo Tourism in 2019 where she could share her experiences and insights with travelers from around the world through a walking tour of Taos Pueblo. Always in the pursuit of learning, you can join Sequoia, guiding you on your next adventure though Taos!
Sequoia guides our Taos Tours.
albuquerque and chaco canyon
Lewis Bailey | Albuquerque + Chaco Canyon Inspired Guide
Lewis Bailey is a native New Mexican, born in Santa Fe and raised in Taos. During college, he studied abroad for 6 semesters in Costa Rica, India, China, and Mexico. Witnessing the effects of tourism on people and their environment, he noted it was either beneficial or detrimental depending on how it was managed. This experience drew him to the craft of guiding in an ethical way. Lewis explains, “Tourism is huge in my hometown of Taos. I wanted to be able to share this place with visitors so they can enjoy everything it has to offer in a profound sense while respecting the land and the people. I am always excited to spend time in Taos’ beautiful scenery, share stories of the unique culture and history, or provide interesting anecdotes from my life. I can’t wait to meet you and make your trip fun, safe, and unforgettable!”
Lewis guides our Albuquerque tours.
Tam Chavez | Albuquerque + Chaco Canyon Inspired Guide
In 1988, Tam took her first trip to the desert on a ten-day wilderness backpacking adventure with the Sierra Club. On the way to the Albuquerque airport, they drove through Chaco Canyon and from that moment she knew that she wanted to call New Mexico home. She explains, “I thought: is it always this sunny? I love the high elevation, it is so dry, I love the fresh air!!” She spent the next decade coming to the Four Corners every chance that she could. Finally in 1993, she made the leap and moved across the country to Albuquerque. She became a regular in Chaco, so much so they asked her to move into the staff housing and become a volunteer ranger, where she spent three summers giving Chaco tours of the dwellings and patrolling the backcountry. Tam loves to guide guests through these enchanted places and her infatuation really shines through.
Rorik Rivenburgh | Albuquerque Inspired Guide
When Rorik graduated high school, his parents moved to New Mexico from Chicago, and a year later he followed his parents by enrolling for College at the University of New Mexico. He fell in love with New Mexico and has made it his permanent home. Rorik can be found hiking and biking in the Bosque, exploring the Sandia Mountains, and attending local sporting events as an avid fan. He studied guest relations and interpretive tours at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which cultivated his passion to be a guide. Today at home in his role, he encourages his guests to fully engage in the magic of our custom tours.
He guides three tours in Albuquerque; The Duke City E- Bike Tour, El Bosque Chiquito E-bike Tour and Mezcla de Culturas Albuquerque Walking Tour.