Isabelle Medina Sandoval, Ed.D.


Dr. Isabell Medina Sandoval is a published poet and genealogy researcher and former Bilingual Director for the Santa Fe Public Schools.  She has won numerous short story and poetry contests. She has been recognized by Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women among other organizations. She keeps the family home in Mora that was settled by ancestors who were original members of the Mora Land Grant. Her family came to New Mexico in 1598 with ancestors originating from Toledo, Spain through Mexico.  Her publications include Guardians of Hidden Traditions and Hidden Shabbat, both finalists for Best Book Awards, New Mexico Book Awards.

Hidden Shabbat and Guardians of Hidden Traditions are historical novels narrating the experiences of generation after generation of crypto-Jews, beginning in Spain in the late 1300’s and ending in New Mexico. These books tell the stories of mothers, daughters, and their families as they hide from the Inquisition and migrate to new lands seeking freedom and peace.

Dr. Medina-Sandoval draws from stories and research about her family to create these novels, and the stories are built around a real core of event. She includes historically rich details about the lifestyles of the various time periods.
The covers of both novels feature paintings by Diana Bryer.

Guardians of Hidden Traditions is a fascinating and moving story of a people that held on to deep traditions and culture through tremendous trials and tribulation. Dr. Medina Sandoval has woven into this work the beautiful story of our ancestors. The work provides a deep sense of belonging for a group that survived in the hearts and minds of individuals with deep faith in something omnipotent. This work is something that we as a people need to pass on to our young people in our educational systems. The culture and traditions portrayed in this work is really part of our Land of Enchantment. The Rosa de Castilla and the many traditions are part of New Mexico and its people.
--Dr. John Mondragon, Professor, University of New Mexico

Isabelle Sandoval’s Guardians of Hidden Traditions brings an important, but little-known aspect of Spanish-American history to light and to vibrant life through an exciting story and engaging and colorful characters. The story is epic in scope, yet highly personal as it documents the continuity of faith and fear in twenty-five generations of a family of hidden Jews in Spain and the New World. This is a book that is sure to inform, to entrance, and to move both adult and young adult readers.
--Dr. Craig Castleman, Educator


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Books by Medina Sandoval