Updated: January 25, 2020 09:17 PM
Created: January 25, 2020 05:50 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The 20th annual Valencia County matanza kicked off at Belen Eagle Park Saturday—a centuries-old Spanish tradition that dates back to when early Spanish settlers arrived in New Mexico.
“Matanza is really a cookout like it's a food preparation get-together. Come eat, fill your belly and go home kinda thing,” said Chief Nathan Gonzales with the Rio Grande Fire Department.
Gonzales said matanzas help bring his family together.
“Something we've done as a family and now we are doing it to keep the tradition alive,” he said. “I remember doing this when I was a young kid. My family and stuff—they would bury the pig in the ground."
Different Valencia County departments attend the matanza not only to cook, but to enter their recipes in food contests.
“We come here every year with the hopes to win,” Gonzales said.
The event is organized by the Hispano Chamber of Valencia County. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for Valencia County college students.
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