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Francisco Sisneros Bio Pic


July 20, 1948 - May 1, 2021

Francisco Antonio Sisneros, age 72, of Casa Colorada, New Mexico, passed away at his home on May 1, 2021.


Francisco was born in Abó Viejo, Torrance County, New Mexico, next to the old mission ruins of San Gregorio which are now part of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. His family has roots there going back to the mid-1600s.


Francisco graduated from a Catholic seminary in Santa Fe (1966). He spent several years studying and working throughout Latin America. He studied at the UNM Centro Andino in Quito, Ecuador (1969-1970). He later served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras (1971-1973). Francisco wrote and edited in the Bilingual Institute at the University of New Mexico (1974-1975), and for several years supervised a bilingual materials research and development program at the University of Arizona in Tucson (1975-1981). Francisco was a school administrator with the Socorro, New Mexico schools (1981-2001).

Francisco was a devoted husband and father, retired educator, and a life-long student of New Mexico history and culture. As time has permitted over the last 42 years, he has researched ancestors of the Hispanic families of New Mexico. His primary research interests were in lesser-known figures of seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth century New Mexico. He was a co-founder of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico and a senior research associate with the center. He was also affiliated with the New Mexico Genealogical Society and the Historical Society of New Mexico. He has written over sixty articles based on primary records on New Mexico history and on the origins of the Hispanic families of New Mexico. Days before his passing, he published a book of his childhood memoirs, A Boy From Abó Viejo.

To see full obituary, click the link below.

Monastery of Santo Toribio

Letanía: Ojo de Abó 

Written by Francisco Sisneros to honor the blessed water that gives life to our people.

Listen to this  beautiful rendition in Francisco's own voice.

Music Production by Ladd A. Doane 

Ojo de Abó... lágrima de Dios

Fuente de agua brota cristalina...

el principio, el nacimiento

Agua aflora de la tierra...

el bautismo, la salvación

Matriz mana agua de vida...

tuétano dulce, vientre celestial

Pozo dador de vida...

la leche, la sangre

Fuenclara de agua pristina...

remedio de la gente ungüento del alma

Manatial de agua virgen...

sofoca el fuego, apaga la sed

Venero repleto de agua...

riega la huerta, bebe el atajo

Pila de agua bendita....

el santuario, el refugio

Punta de agua salvadora....

lava la piel, revive el cuerpo

Agua dulce del ojo...

quita la sequía, enverdece el campo

Agua imán del pueblo...

añoro del hijo, lazo de familia

Tinaja con agua sin fin...

la cubeta, el jumate

Noria del pueblo...

la hermandad, el compadrazgo

Ojo de Abó... esperanza siempre


©1989 Francisco Sisneros

Memorias de Mi Niñez

A Boy From Abo Viejo Book Cover

Product details

  • ASIN : B093KPXDL2

  • Publisher : Independently published (April 27, 2021)

  • Language : English

  • Paperback : 246 pages

  • ISBN-13 : 979-8744969493

  • Item Weight : 15.4 ounces

  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.56 x 9 inches

Author: Francisco Sisneros

April 27, 2021

During the “Year of Covid-2020” as I was under “house arrest” resulting from Covid-19 and chemotherapy restrictions, I used my time to reflect on my past and decided that my past was interesting enough that I should document my memoirs using anecdotes, especially anecdotes that recalled my early childhood as I grew up in Abo Viejo. Abo Viejo is located in southwestern Torrance County in central New Mexico at the foothills of the Manzano Mountains. I often make the distinction between Abo Viejo and Abo Nuevo because Abo Viejo is the settlement that surrounds the Pueblo Mission Ruins and Abo Nuevo, settled in 1907, is where the San Lorenzo church is, about three miles north of Abo Viejo. I now realize that growing up where I did, and in the times in which I lived, were very much a reflection of many cultures which combined to make our very own unique culture, call it, Abo Viejo culture. We lived in a culture of poverty and although we may have sensed it, we did not react to it because it was just the way it was. In spite of all the technological progress around us, our family remained poor even by those days’ standards.We lived in a culture of isolation. By this, I mean that even though there was mostly Anglo/Gringo traffic going up to the mission ruins, those tourists were not part of our lives. Our patria chica was just that, we lived in a relatively small circle of family and friends; we were rural people. We went to church, attended most of its functions, followed most of its rules, but we were not overly pious or religious.We lived among families that were affected by the lack of professional medical services. We lived among families where alcohol was a problem; there was no escaping the effects of this by the spouses and children. When we ventured outside of our familiar surroundings, we faced overt and subtle racism, especially in education and in participation in public office. All of these influences made our Abo Viejo culture most unique. It was our own particular brand of Hispanic culture. It was not Spanish culture, it was not Mexican culture, it certainly was not Anglo/Gringo culture. We spoke a Spanish that was unique to us; no one else in the world spoke it. Lamentably, my generation is the last generation that will speak this language. Our customs were a mismatch of many influences. The foods we ate reflected this unique culture. It was not Anglo/Gringo, it was not Spanish, it was not Mexican; it was nuevomexicano, and more particularly, it was Abo food. We liked Mexican music but we also enjoyed music in English.My youth was not all idyllic, although from hindsight it would seem so. I was young, I was innocent. Everything that surrounded me in my youth I feel to this day. Through all the happy and pleasant moments, and even through all the hardships, we remained a united family. We were well-grounded in our place and in our culture. Abo Viejo was our querencia, the place where we were born, the place we knew intimately, the place where we would rather be than any other place in the world. I long for this place when I am away from there. Sometimes I go visit to regain my strength. I’ll walk around or sit or find a place to sit and reflect on my life and on the life of my family. When people ask me where I’mfrom, I’ll tell them I live in Casa Colorada, but that I’m from Abo Viejo, from the Sisneros family of Abo Viejo. Here I have written some of what I remember as a youth. It is my communion with the past. I am grateful that I was born and raised in Abo Viejo, and I thank God and my parents for all of this.My memoirs reflect my youth to when I turned thirteen years of age. At that young age I entered into a totally different life from the one and only one I had known up to this time.

During the 2012 Sisneros Family Reunion, Francisco gave an historical review of the Sisneros Family and their presence in Abo, New Mexico. 

Thank You to Jason Critchfield and Lucas Critchfield


A Sampling of Books, Newspaper Stories and Articles

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