chama || new mexico

Part of the “Slice of Life Series” – Learning through the Human Experience

Project Statement: The Slice of Life Series offers short audio stories of people and how they end up in a place at a given time. Through the stories the hope is that listeners can learn about a location & a topic from the human experience as well as to bring current events back down to the voices of daily life.

On the evening of day 1 of our 4-day skateboarding adventure, we were looking for a place in between Taos in the northeast and Aztec in the northwestern part of New Mexcio. Our guidebook listed two main cities in between – Dulce and Chama. We decided to stay in the latter after reading about the city’s historic Cumbres and Toltec Railroad. With no idea of what was out there and where to stay, we pulled up at the fork of highway 64 and highway 17 to find Chama Trails Inn Motel in the middle of the night. This is where we met Chester Maez. The moment we walked into the front office and felt Chester’s amiable personality and saw the cozy decorations throughout the motel we knew we’d be staying here. The next morning I spoke to him more about his business in which you’ll hear here. Chester and his wife Starla have been running the business for over 20 year, but they plan to retire soon and are looking for someone who is interested in maintaining the integrity and charm of Chama Trails Inn Motel. They are listing it on the market starting at $1.1 million. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to catch a good night’s rest there and meet Chester and Starla before they embark on their next ventures.

Map of the Story

Listen to the Story

Chester Maez
New Mexico & San Luis Valley, Colorado

“We have met a lot of people. We’ve made beautiful friends through the years. A matter of fact they’re not friends anymore, they’re family. When they come back time and time again, instead of checking in the motel rooms, they check into my living room.”

“There’s another things I love to do is doing my stunt shows. Here around Chama we do stunts shows at the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad. We do five to six stunt shows a year and we’re also hired out to do stunt shows some place else.”


{posted on 8 April 2012}

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