Highlighting Diversity and Inclusivity through Travel

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Travel For Good

Nourishing the Culture and Adventure of New Mexico


Highlighting Diversity and Inclusivity through Travel

“Travel and tourism brings people together. It unites people of all backgrounds, breaks down barriers and opens our eyes to other cultures. While we may not all look alike or speak the same language, travel reveals commonalities that we may never have realized existed.”

– Greg DeShields
The Daniels Clan at Bandelier National Monument
The Daniels Clan at Bandelier National Monument
In 2023, H.I. explores the idea of nourishment beyond a sense of personal well-being to the cultures and environments that sustain us. This edition we look at the travel Industry and travel opportunities through the lens of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) as we visit with Greg DeShields - Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters, Luckie Daniels - Founder of Enchanted While Black and Angelisa Murray – CEO of Heritage Inspirations. Read along to find out more about the evolving future of travel.


Our glamping retreats are not only a luxurious way to enjoy New Mexico’s landscape, but are enriched by programs that shed light on the traditions that have created New Mexico’s mystique.

Our Fireside Chats with Taos Pueblo’s Tourism Director, Ilona Spruce are a once in lifetime opportunity to hear first hand about the extraordinary history of Taos Pueblo in an intimate and magical setting.
One of Angelisa’s favorite inclusions of our Taos Glamping Adventure during the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Angelisa Murray stoking the fire last August on Perseid Meteor Shower Taos Glamping
Photo by Mike Hawkins
We also embrace global diversity during our High Desert Sanctuary Glamping Excursion with VALARIE BUDAYR, the founder of the Mongata Healing Center in Santa Fe.
Valarie Budayr at Mongata Healing Center in Santa Fe, NM
An award winning author, teacher, and composer, Valarie was born in the US but firmly embraces her ancestral heritage from the island of Gotland, Sweden. She incorporates 5,000 year old North Karelian traditions and culture into her sound healing and labyrinth rituals.

“My instruments are overtone-emitting instruments, such as crystal bowls, monocords, tuning forks, the wave, himalayan singing bowls, chimes, gongs, steel drums, icelandic harps, etc. The sound is "guiding" the meditation.”

Experience Valarie’s healing sessions on our May 4th - 6th Glamping Excursion in partnership with Casita de Arrebol.


Excited to announce the opening of our Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm E-Bike Hub on March 8th! Located on the edge of the tranquil bosque on an lavender organic farm, this destination is a bucolic place to set out on one of our reimagine ABQ Farm to River Cultural E-Bike Tour offered every Wednesday through Sunday.
H.I. ABQ Travel Hub located at the Barn at Los Poblanos Historic Inn


H.I. has anticipated brand new itineraries that go beyond the beaten tourist path and reflect the diverse cultures of our state. Historically, New Mexico’s festivals and markets have been a place for artisans, farmers and adventurers to gather and exchange goods, ideas, and stories. In the mid 1830s New Mexico began to function as a trading hub between the United States, Mexico, and California. H.I.wants to share this rich history with you as a way to support diversity and understanding. Our signature tours: Horno Baking, Half-Day Cultural, Magical Heirlooms of Chimayo, High Road to Taos, provide an experience that can only happen with a New Mexico based travel company that has built trust and relationships with our native communities.



Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: a blueprint for wellness

A conversation with Greg DeSheilds of Tourism Diversity Matters and H.I. enthusiast Anee Ward

Greg DeSheilds
Qualified Tourism/Hospitality and Academic Professional Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) proficient in developing and implementing plans, strategies, and initiatives specifically designed to raise a destination's image for diverse, multicultural travel. As a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) Greg has worked to strategically position organizations to remove systemic barriers to inclusion, lead culture change, and transform brand identity.
Anee: As we have discussed H.I. engages with the diverse populations of our state by partnering with Pueblo communities and hiring Tribal Member guides, raising awareness of New Mexico artists and cultural traditions, as well as, supporting our local economy. From your perspective can you talk a little about the importance of creating trusting environments for employees and guests of diverse backgrounds within the Tourism Industry?

Greg: It is important for the internal team to see individuals who look like them, to see individuals who can be role models and what it means to achieve success. My first role model was Valerie Ferguson, Director of Lodging - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts at the time Front Office at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hyatt Hotels. Valerie was confident, well versed, smart, beautiful, and like me, African American. As a management trainee, once during a shift, I was on hold waiting for a credit card authorization to go through when Valerie spoke up “Don’t; wait, You need to be more resourceful, hang up, and call again!” (Smiling) I have taken this lesson with me over the course of my career. A diverse environment of belonging and inclusion is also psychologically significant. It is important to have support when navigating difficult situations, especially ones that are culturally disrespectful and harmful. Feeling safe and supported enables employees to perform at top levels. On the customer side it is important for visitors to see diversity represented on all levels of an organization from the Director of Sales, Food and Beverage, Concierge, etc. The Travel Industry is more and more driven by the consumer and meeting their expectations. Guests are doing their homework ahead of time. The language, the events offered, the staff all become part of the decision process. People want to feel good about their choices.

Anee: What can an organization in the Hospitality Industry do to create a more welcoming, inclusive, experience?

Greg: We can begin with anticipating the diverse needs of our guests. For example hair and skin products at a five star hotel. Is the room stocked with health and beauty supplies for people of color, or does the guest have to walk down to the local CVS to get what they need? We need to be sensitive to diverse consumers by what we make available in our gift shops. Ask ourselves, “Are we really creating a feeling of welcoming and belonging?” We also have to pay attention to how we talk about diversity. The context for diversity begins in language, it can become the Achilles heel, if we don’t investigate, research. For example when we talk about Indigenous Peoples, are we acknowledging tribal norms-representation, origin? Does the term reflect sensitivity and diversity? It is important that we all strive to familiarize ourselves with the evolving language of diversity. Inclusive language builds trust, respect and engagement.

Anee: So are you suggesting that a New Mexico organization’s sensitivity to language and hiring practices could be an indicator for a potential BIPOC consumer on the other side of the country that this is a business they can trust?

Greg: Exactly! It is fundamental. I am reminded when the Healthcare system evolved in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, it led to an understanding of healthcare disparities and the social determinants of health, and how the environment where people live is directly related to the quality of life. The Tourism Industry is now catching up. During Covid “Hospitality” wrestled with language, belonging, and evolving. But anybody can do this work with a little resolve; it is time for the industry to step up our efforts and put DEI at the forefront of the conversation.


Heritage Inspirations is excited about our upcoming partnership with the organization Enchantment While Black. This newsletter EWB founder Luckie Daniels and explore her reflections on the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the future of travel:
Luckie Daniels
“Black travelers are both under and misrepresented by mass media and the travel industry as a whole. As with doing almost anything “while Black”, we carry a silent burden as we travel. As people who historically have not been afforded the ability to explore the world freely, we still find ourselves researching “safe places to travel”, having to accept that upon arrival, our presence will either perpetuate or diffuse the ethnic bias that often precedes us.
The Black Travel Movement is setting the record straight. When we travel, we break the stereotypes of who we are and where we can go. Black people travel everywhere, and our interests are as diverse and unique as we are.

Enchantment While Black is dedicated to providing a safe space and familiar face to Brown and Black adventure travelers exploring Northern New Mexico. We understand the discrimination BIPOC travelers encounter when vacationing and curate culturally authentic, immersive travel experiences with local partners that extend a true sense of welcome and safety.

Our stories connect us. EWB embraces its role as a bridge of cultures and a conduit for sharing the best of what makes life in the Land of Enchantment so magical. We are here. We are relevant. And we have much to share and learn from each other as we build community together.”


This month we focus on how cultural diversity has influenced the style and culture of H.I., as we talk with company owner Angelisa Murray about her Hispano roots and how they continue to inspire her:
Grandma Lila in her Hosting Element
Grandma Lila in her Hosting Element
One of my earliest memories is of Grandma Lila’s table, surrounded by many of my 30 plus first cousins. Grandma Lila always made homemade tortillas on the cast iron stove. When the tortilla was done, one cousin would butter it, take a bite and then pass it on, as each cousin took one bite as it rounded the table, in time for the next tortilla to be ready.
“Cousins Club” at Grandma & Grandpas Backyard in Monte Vista, CO
“Cousins Club” at Grandma & Grandpas Backyard in Monte Vista, CO
Grandma Lila & Grandpa Tato at the Restaurant in Romeo, CO
Grandma Lila & Grandpa Tato at the Restaurant in Romeo, CO
Our family roots, on my Papa's (Angelo Gustavo Espinoza) side are in southern Colorado in the San Luis Valley and entrepreneurialism runs in the family. Grandpa Tato ran Gunbarrel TV Repair & Service while Grandma Lila ran a local restaurant that was the hub of the community. It was a revolving door of guests, neighbors, and families much like my Grandparents' home. Kind of like Grand Central Station. Grandma's homemade cooking, someone playing guitar, and the voices of cousins playing was the center of my early childhood memories that are rooted in family heritage and culture.
Grandma Lila holding me with Grandpa Tato outside their Monte Vista, CO Home
Grandma Lila holding me with Grandpa Tato outside their Monte Vista, CO Home
My family's tradition of hospitality has become the foundation of the H.I. experience. Through food, culture, natural beauty, and belonging we invite our guests to make themselves at home in a foreign land.
Grandpa Tato’s Gunbarrel TV Service Sign
Grandpa Tato’s Gunbarrel TV Service Sign
Today I still can see San Antonio mountain from my front porch of my straw-bale home in Taos. I am reminded how my Grandpa was the first to install towers that brought television to Taos. The mountain reminds me of my roots, and how my history grounds and lifts my business today.

A woman pioneer with Hispanic roots in the travel Industry. Here is one from the Family Recipes and perfect to make in this February cozy weather.

#1 on TripAdvisor | 2022 Travelers' Choice

what people are saying

Fascinating wide ranging tour of the history of Taos

"We had a wide ranging tour with Shane that gave us a great overview of the very different cultures that make up the history and daily life of Taos. The private tour of Taos Pueblo was given by a local guide who spent over an hour describing the history, architecture and current lifestyle in the Pueblo. We also visited the beautiful gorge bridge and the San Francisco Asis church. We were fascinated by the Spanish colonial period at the Hacienda de Los Martinez. We gained a valuable amount of knowledge about the Spanish, Pueblo and American histories that served us well for the rest of our wanderings in the area. Highly recommend"


Happy to Help

Contact me and my team directly for any inquiries about your travel plans at tours@heritageinspirations.com or call us at 1.888.344.TOUR(8687)
Angelisa Murray, Founder & Guide

#1 on TripAdvisor | 2022 Travelers' Choice


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