Margaret McKinney/Highlands University

Edward Martínez, left, Rico Blea, and Eric Romero lift a kettle of roasted pork head from the matanza pit at New Mexico Highlands’ 125th anniversary celebration, a traditional matanza, Aug. 25 at the Leveo and Patricia Sánchez Family Stadium. Approximately 1,000 people from the Highlands campus and Las Vegas community turned out to enjoy the day with the pit-roasted pig and beef with all the fixings, three live bands, and other festivities. Romero, a languages and culture professor at Highlands, coordinated the matanza pit crew. Martínez is vice president for strategic enrollment management at Highlands. The university’s “H:125” committee led by Juli Salman, Alumni Office director, organized the matanza. Matanzas have been part of New Mexican culture and history since the first Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area in the 16th century. More photos from the matanza are on the Highlands Facebook page at