The HI Tribe
THE HI 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.
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://www.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 regional AMBASSADORS
Bobby Gonzales, Director of People + Culture + Inspired Guide
Having grown up in the Northern New Mexican village of Pojoaque, Bobby found himself frequently outside making playgrounds out of alfalfa fields and hiking nearby bluffs and hillsides. One of his fondest childhood pastimes was replicating mini handmade sun-dried mud bricks for Pojoaque’s adobe structures. Now living in Albuquerque after traveling the world, he appreciates that New Mexico has always been his home. He explains, “New Mexico is magical because of its traditions in architecture, artwork, food and the passing down of stories from generation to generation. I still love getting my hands dirty and it’s apparent that I have always loved this land.”
Tyler Thirloway, Santa Fe Ambassador + Inspired Guide
After college Tyler embarked on a journey to explore the world working as a sea kayaking guide, rafting guide, rock climbing instructor, and bicycle builder. In December 2015, he came to New Mexico to explore firsthand his lifelong fascination with the American West. Marrying a native New Mexican from Santa Fe solidified New Mexico as his home, ,as well as, his love for its outdoor adventures, its chile-oriented food, and its warm-hearted people. Tyler explains, “I love to get out and explore, to form a connection to a place, and to share that with other people. As I guide, I am inspired by seeing people learn about and come to appreciate a place on a new level, and helping people challenge their perceived limitations.”
Tyler is the Santa Fe Ambassador & Inspired Guide and guides a variety of Santa Fe Tours.
our inspired GUIDES
Lewis Bailey | Taos 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!”
Elie Lerman | Taos Inspired Guide
Born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, Elie has a deep connection with the land. Her love of New Mexico is rooted in cultural and historic diversity, outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, rafting, and mountain biking, as well as the food, especially red and green chile. At the Field Institute of Taos, Elie worked as a field counselor, educating students about their surroundings and fostering their connection with mother nature. She has also worked as a rafting and mountain biking guide in Pilar.
Elie guides many of Taos’ outdoor activities, such as the Taos Alpine Hiking Adventure, Taos Wild, Taos Glamping Adventure, Taos Half Day Active Tour, Taos Snowshoeing Day Tours, Hike and Kayak the Rio Grande, and the Taos Backcountry Rio Grande Hiking Adventure.
Lesley Evelyn Morgan, Taos Inspired Guide
When Lesley visited New Mexico for the first time in September of 1997, she was immediately hooked on the expansive blue skies, endless sunshine, and high desert environment and found herself moving to Taos the next year to pursue her love of art and the outdoors. By working in a local artist’s studio, as well as, in a Bent Street gallery, she connected immediately with the local art scene and the pulse of Taos’ art community.
Lesley is passionate about Taos and its Historic Art Colony, “The diversity of cultures combined with the mixture of backgrounds keeps Taos exciting! Everyone here is truly an artist and they’re constantly exploring the beauty of their surroundings as well as their souls. I can’t wait to share this ever-evolving Taos art story and the characters behind it with you.”
Josh Willette | Taos Inspired Guide + 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.
albuquerque and chaco canyon
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.
Daniel Gibson, Santa Fe Inspired Guide
Daniel is a native New Mexican, raised in the North Valley of Albuquerque. He developed his connection with nature as a young boy when his family spent time at their cabin on a remote creek. His love of nature and fascination with culture led Daniel to study journalism and photography at the University of New Mexico. He pursued a career as a reporter, magazine writer, editor, columnist and book author. During his career, Daniel has authored several guidebooks about New Mexico, including the popular and award-winning Pueblos of the Rio Grande: A Visitor’s Guide (2001, Rio Nuevo Publishing), the Audubon Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges: Southwest (2000, St. Martin’s), and the recently released Skiing New Mexico: Guide to Snow Sports in the Land of Enchantment (UNM Press). Daniel’s storytelling skills have enhanced his role as a professional guide, and he an intefral our cultural and outdoor adventures.
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.
Merrill Swim | Santa Fe Inspired E-Bike Guide
After college Merrill felt a strong desire to go out west because she had heard that the sunshine, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking and the culture of New Mexico were unparalleled. When she landed in Santa Fe, she knew that she had found her new home. An artist herself, she explains “Everyone is an artist and it shows in all the details that surround us in daily life.” Merrill is inspired to lead guests on adventures where they stand on the very places that define Santa Fe so that they can truly experience the City Different. She exudes, “These E-Bikes are so fun! It can be a challenge to travel from sea level up to our high-altitude capital city and walk around to all the attractions in Santa Fe… It’s a chance to cruise the paths the locals frequent and see the city from the comfort of a pedal-assisted bike.”
Merrill guides the Santa Fe City Different E-Bike tour.