(MESILLA, NM) -- The longest running book fair in New Mexico is underway and as the event helps draw hundreds of people to the town of Mesilla every year.
2012 is the year of healing and transformation and for Denise Chavez, director of the Border Book Festival, it’s been well planned journey.
“It reaches across lines. That’s one of our beliefs systems in the Border Book Festival that art can heal and reach people of all ages and backgrounds and cultures,” she said.
The Border Book Festival is the longest running book fair which began more than twenty years ago with readings, book signings and a small literary festival at the holy cross retreat house. It moved to Mesilla in 2004.
“It’s hard to believe that here we are 20 some years down the road,” she said.
Chavez says the festival attracts visitors from all over the country.
“We have people coming from Chicago, California, Lordsburg. I have a group of sweat lodges from Lordsburg, Austin, I have a writer friend that comes every year from Santa Barbara. We have volunteers, friends, people that come all over the place,” said Chavez.
According to the Mayan and Aztec calendars 2012 marks the completion of the 26,000 cycle which is the reason organizers decided to make this year’s theme the shamanic journey.
“Literature, music and food. You cannot go wrong if these food and we have mole. Last year, we had Indian food. This year, we have wonderful musicians, Brazilian jazz, professional musicians from the valley. We have great food that in it I can hardly wait. So we believe, approaching the arts, the full body, mental, spiritually, emotionally and food and music and that is the arts and if you can reach all levels of the human spirit, I believe that is success,” she said.