3RNet Blog

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Our members know their states! Learn more about the Land of Enchantment from our New Mexico 3RNet member, Melissa Candelaria! You'll be craving chiles and picturing beautiful, diverse scenery. 

Name: Melissa Candelaria

City, State: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Organization: New Mexico Health Resources, Inc. (NMHR), a non-profit organization that assists healthcare providers in recruitment and retention throughout the State of New Mexico, and the 3RNet member for the state of New Mexico.

How long have you lived in New Mexico? Why do you choose to live there? I was born and raised here in New Mexico so I have lived in this wonderful state for 49 years! 

How is 3RNet impacting New Mexico? NMHR receives many referrals from the 3RNet which result in many placements! 

What are the best cultural events that happen in New Mexico? 

  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than four decades, the first week in October brings the smells of roasting chiles and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air. Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning. 
  • Native American Indian/indigenous culture comes alive at the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, lndian Traders Market, and the crowning of Miss Indian World at the University of New Mexico Arena, the PIT, in Albuquerque. 
  • A popular event for residents and visitors alike, Spanish Market features handmade traditional art from over 350 local Hispanic artists, as well as on-going live music and dance, art demonstrations, and regional foods throughout each day. This famous Market is the oldest and largest juried Spanish Market in the United States. 
  • As summer cools down, the Village of Hatch heats up. Labor Day weekend heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of our world­ famous crop. The festival attracts over 30,000 visitors from all over the United States, including such notables as the Food Network and the BBC. Festival goers can sample famed chile recipes, watch the crowning of the chile festival queen, or toss a horseshoe in celebration of our most famous crop. The event also features chile ristra contests, artisan and food booths, and a carnival. 

Why should a health professional choose New Mexico over surrounding states? New Mexico has such a diverse population, great climate/weather, many cultural events, and many jobs. New Mexico is the future! 

What loan repayment programs does New Mexico have? Anything that makes those programs unique? We participate in the National Health Service Corps program and also have several state programs including: New Mexico Health Service Corps, New Mexico Loan Repayment, New Mexico Loan For Service Programs, and the New Mexico Healthcare Tax Credit Program.

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in New Mexico? Every year New Mexico fills all of the 30 slots available with both primary care and specialists. 

What sports teams does New Mexico have? 

  • The Albuquerque Isotopes are a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL} and the Triple A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. They are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and play their home games at Isotopes 
    Park which opened in 2003 and has an elevation exceeding 5,100 feet (1,555 m) above sea level. 
  • New Mexico United is an American professional soccer team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded in 2018, the team plays in the USL Championship, the second division of American soccer.
  • New Mexico Ice Wolves - The New Mexico hockey team will play in the NAHL (North American Hockey League) in the 2019-2020 season. Home games will be played at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque. 
  • New Mexico State Aggies 
  • University of New Mexico Lobos 
  • Many other college teams! 

What is your favorite local food? Green chile cheeseburgers, red chile enchiladas 

What are some misconceptions about New Mexico? 

  • New Mexico Is A Different Country - While part of the state's name is shared with that of our neighbors to the south, New Mexico was the 48th state to be admitted to the union in 1912. This usually does provide some entertaining, and sometimes aggravating, situations for New Mexicans as we are usually thought to be foreigners when in other states. 
  • English Is Not The Common Language - Although Spanish is widely spoken throughout New Mexico, English is still the official language, and those who do speak Spanish usually know English as well. New Mexicans visiting other parts of the United States are usually complimented on their English skills once it becomes known that they hail from the Land of Enchantment. 
  • New Mexico Is A Desert - Parts of New Mexico are covered in desert-like terrain. However, the state's landscapes are incredibly diverse ranging from mesas and plains to large forests and majestic mountains. Snow is not uncommon in most parts of the state during the winter months. New Mexico actually offers some of the best skiing locations in the country. 
  • Our Food And Culture Are Only Mexican - New Mexico has its own distinct culture and food drawing from Native American, Mexican, and Spanish influences. Chile plays an important role in New Mexican cuisine as well as Native American staples such as fry-bread, beans, corn, and squash. 
  • There Is Nothing Here - New Mexico has a lot of activity in science, nature, art, and popular culture. Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are at the forefront of scientific development, while the natural beauty of the state draws visitors from all over the world. Santa Fe and Taos have produced many important artists and art schools, and the film industry has taken off throughout the state with major film and television projects taking place here. The aerospace industry is also being developed here with Spaceport America's construction occurring north of White Sands. 

What are the biggest industries in New Mexico? Tourism, National Labs, small businesses, and the defense industry.

How is the weather/climate in New Mexico? On average, there are 278 sunny days per year in New Mexico. The U.S. average is 205 sunny days. Our summer high in July is 88 degrees, and our winter low in January is 20. 

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