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

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 BlesseyNoah 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 HershiserLauren 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

santa fe

Travis GibsonTravis 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!

Teo Gomez | Santa Fe Inspired Guide

I’m a local New Mexican mountain goat. My free time is spent on a mountain bike or in a Southwestern history book.  Becoming a tour guide has always excited me as I love to tell stories about the past and why not do it while riding bikes.

Join Matt on a cruise around the Santa Fe Plaza and beyond on several weekly Heritage Inspirations “City Different” E-bike tours.

Sandy KatzSandy 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.

 

Fritz Devendorf | Santa Fe Inspired Guide

Born and raised in Santa Fe New Mexico, Fritz enjoyed hiking a skiing from an early age. After college and a successful career as a software engineer, Fritz found himself back in Santa Fe where had a chance to reinvent himself. Ski instructing eventually led to tour guiding. I love history, geology, and the outdoors. My greatest joy is when I can share the simple beauty and complex history of New Mexico with other people.

Fritz leads the Santa Fe Tours.

taos

Josh WilletteJosh 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.

Josh guides our Taos Tours, Glamping Excursions, and Culinary Outdoor Adventures.

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.

Tyler Johnson | Taos Inspired Guide

Originally from Southern California, Tyler has been an adventurer and outdoorsman his entire life. After living in the High Sierra mountains for 10 years, Tyler fell in love with Taos and continues his outdoor ventures throughout the landscapes of New Mexico. Whether it be fly fishing in the Rio Grande, split boarding the back-country mountains, or biking the vast desert landscapes, Tyler deepens his knowledge and love for New Mexico through first-hand experience. Tyler’s inspiration as a guide is to: “connect people to the land through positive experience. It’s my goal to help people build a connection to this incredible place and history through intention, empathy, and compassion.”

Tyler guides our Taos Tours, Chaco Canyon Tours, and Glamping Excursions.

Johanna DeBaise | Taos Inspired Guide

Johanna has lived in Taos County for over twenty years after moving here from Alaska (though she’s originally from New York). She lives off the grid on the west side of the Taos Gorge with her husband and teen daughter. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and loves to write about her adventures around New Mexico. She is always amazed at how many more areas of New Mexico are still left to explore even after all of these years. Some of her favorite places around Taos include Ojo Caliente (where she teaches yoga), the High Road to Taos, Rio Grande Gorge and Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area.

Johanna is also a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and loves sharing wild places with visitors to New Mexico. But even though she’s a self-proclaimed nature nerd, her real passion for New Mexico is for the culture. “In all my travels, I’ve never found a place like New Mexico that encompasses diversity, beauty, and a down-to-earth vibe. It is no wonder artists, writers and creators have flocked here for centuries. It is infinitely inspiring,” she says. She loves being a guide and helping others to find their inspiration in New Mexico.

Join Johanna on any of the Taos Tours, including the Artisan Walking Tour + Chocolate and Half-Day Cultural Tour.

 

albuquerque and chaco canyon

Lewis BaileyLewis 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 ChavezTam 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.

Tam leads tours in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and of course Chaco Canyon.

Laureen Lerch | Albuquerque + Chaco Canyon Inspired Guide

Laureen was born in Chicago and received her Bachelor of Science from Ball State University in Tourism Geography with a minor in Anthropology & Indigenous Studies. She moved to New Mexico with AmeriCorps as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) to work with the Adventure Gallup & Beyond Initiative to increase eco, cultural, and adventure tourism in Northwest New Mexico. As a VISTA, Ms. Lerch worked directly with the Navajo Department of Tourism to implement a community-based tourism model on a rural portion of the reservation. Ms. Lerch helped facilitate the creation of the Churchrock Tourism Action Council, a nonprofit 501c3 dedicated to education, environmental advocacy, and economic development via tourism.

Laureen has dual citizenship in the US & Ireland and resides in Albuquerque. She can often be found hiking the Sandias with her domestic partner, son and three dogs. She is the Past President of the New Mexico International School Foundation and volunteers to increase outdoor education opportunities for New Mexico’s youth. She is in the process of becoming a Master Naturalist in Bernalillo County. She is passionate about travel and cultural education and enjoys introducing travelers to New Mexico on any of the Heritage Inspiration itineraries! She leads the H.I. Mezcla de Culturas Walking Tour of Old Town Albuquerque; Acoma Pueblo Day Tour; Chaco Canyon Day Tour and Hiking Tour in Bandelier National Monument.

When not working, guiding or volunteering; she enjoys turning off her iPhone to breathe and reconnect with nature.

 

Dana Van Tilborg | Albuquerque Inspired Guide

Dana Van Tilborg came to New Mexico in 1989 to attend graduate school in Cultural Anthropology at U.N.M. and could never get it out of her system.  Dana has her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies from U.N.M. and was a high school history teacher for most of her career.  She taught in public schools in Denver and Albuquerque as well as internationally in Mexico and China.  After leaving K-12 teaching, she wanted to continue to learn and teach about New Mexico history and found the perfect way to do that by guiding H.I. tours.  She loves the art, culture, and history of New Mexico and loves sharing her passion and knowledge with guests.

Dana guides the Mezcla de Culturas Walking Tour in Albuquerque.