Tucumcari students going to Washington for inauguration

Chelle Delaney

Fourteen students from Tucumcari High School will be joining millions of others in Washington, D.C. to be nearby when president elect Barack Obama is sworn in Jan. 20 as the 44th president of the United States.

It may not be the inauguration they wanted, however. Of the students interviewed recently, two of the said they would have voted for Obama, one said gave Ralph Nader a yes vote and the remaining said they supported Sen. John McCain.

Nevertheless, none of the students said they had been to Washington before and they were anxious to see the sights.

“I’m interested in seeing the Holocaust Museum. We read about Anne Frank in English and I want to see it,” said Katie Lamm, a tenth grader.

Nathan Andrada has more of a personal reason to visit the Vietnam memorial. “Two of my uncles from Mosquero are on the wall,” said Andrada, who is in the eleventh grade.

The students leave Saturday and will return on Jan. 21, said faculty advisor D’Shannon Mendez, who with her husband, Richard. will travel with the students.

To make the trip, the students solicited sponsors and held fundraisers. Each had to raise $1,800, for airfare, accommodations and touring expenses.

The entire group raised $28,000 to the make the trip.

“We had enchilada dinners, picked up trash and held car washes,” said Matt Trujillo, an eleventh-grader. “At times we didn’t know if we were going to make it.”