People & Places
Hello readers! I’m the new staff writer here at the Valencia County News-Bulletin, and I’ll be covering the village of Los Lunas, the town of Peralta, Los Lunas Schools and School of Dreams Academy.
I’ve called Valencia County home my whole life, so I am thrilled to be able to share the many stories I know this county has to offer. I am also excited to dig more into its past and speak more to its future.
I grew up in a more rural setting of Los Lunas, surrounded by stunning blue skies, towering cottonwoods and farmland as far as the eye could see. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always been enchanted and inspired by all the natural beauty around me. I think this helped kindle the creative spirit in me early on and the urge to preserve all the wonderful things I see around me through art and storytelling.
Writing is particularly special to me because it was the first way I felt I could really express what I wanted, how I wanted, in a way speaking often times just didn’t accomplish. Later, I fell in love with photography and the idea of how a picture holds a thousand words.
I’ve come to learn that people tend to be very visual in nature, so the idea of telling a story through such a visceral medium like photography has always intrigued me and is why I ended up studying film in college as well.
It’s not just the preservation or acknowledgement of life’s many fleeting curiosities that inspires though, it’s the why and how as well. In a world as dynamic as ours, there is so much to explore, and I feel thankful to have had people in my life growing up who have helped foster my curiosity and continue to do so.
This has led me down many rabbit holes over the years learning about the world around me. The irony of it all though was that the more I learned, the more questions I had! I suppose this was my first stepping-stone into the world of reporting, as questions and curiosity is what I feel powers this job for many.
I got my first taste of reporting while I attended college through an internship to promote women and minority STEM faculty at UNM. While I was mainly a film and digital media student, I pursued journalism as well because I felt it gave me a new perspective on storytelling, which it certainly did. In fact, through it I gained many perspectives from a whole host of people I would have never had the opportunity to meet had it not been for reporting.
While interviewing for articles and videos, I spoke with many people, who all had different backgrounds, ages, aspirations and outlooks. It was fascinating. Not only did they and their accomplishments get the recognition they deserved, but I learned a lot of new things, too. That, I think, is what really drew me in about reporting. We all have so much to learn from one another and I think the more we know, the more we grow.
All of this is to say that I am so excited to learn more about my county and the people who make it one of a kind. If you see me around town or at events, don’t hesitate to say hello. Also, I want to hear from you! If you come across someone or something that you think the community should know about, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 505-823-7805.
Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.