The ICSA Santa Fe conference November 2013 was great, as usual, with a fascinating mix of subjects – I particularly enjoyed Joe Szimhart’s reflections on the cults active in the area when he lived there for many years. On a personal level it was great too: My daughter joined me for the week and the stay in Santa Fe was magical for both of us in different ways! Santa Fe, with its unique architecture and stunning scenery, was a lifetime highlight – I loved it! We hired a car and went on a day trip, went to an award winning spa above Santa Fe, visited the Georgia O’Keefe and other art Museums, enjoyed the fall weather which was hot in the day and cold at night with a scattering of snow on the mountains. The La Fonda on the Plaza hotel had a special atmosphere and the whole experience took us back in time and gave a flavour of a whole different era and a view of an America I had not experienced before (but with all the mod cons of course). AND the shops are great! I basically had an outstanding visit! Give it a try.
Santa Fe is like a second home to me after living there for nearly eighteen years from 1975 until 1993. "The City Different" upholds its reputation. Most international tourists I met as a sketch portrait artist on the Plaza across from the La Fonda said it was their second favorite city to visit in America. Number one might be any of a few major cities. My personal New Age cult experience began and ended there, and due to Santa Fe being one of the major hubs in the country for "spiritual" experimentation and eccentric groups, I had a wealth of primary source information when researching the cult phenomenon there. Last year's ICSA meeting in Santa Fe was a rich experience for interacting with attendees and speakers in a uniquely colorful environment.
I attended the 2013 conference in Santa Fe and it was excellent. The speakers were knowledgeable and professional--and I was consistently favorably impressed by how kind and supportive both attendees and presenters were. I didn't realize there is another conference coming there this November, but I live in Denver and hope to attend again! I also attended a workshop in Colorado Springs in 2010--and it too was wonderful. The board members and others who make things happen at ICSA serve a very important role in helping others.
I am so happy that we will again have our "mini" conference in Santa Fe! First the conference itself: We had a wonderful time reading and commenting on the proposed book chapters for ICSA's upcoming book on therapeutic modalities for ex-members. The discussions were thought provoking as well as educational. Though the content may be different this November, having an occasion to meet and share ideas as well as start and renew old friendships is a great opportunity.
Santa Fe: Our hotel was both beautiful and fascinating. It recreated the ambiance of old Santa Fe as well as provided great food and very comfortable rooms. Santa Fe is a lovely, small and intimate town set amongst the hills outside of town. It has great restaurants, lovely shops and yet maintains a feel of it's origins with respect to it's Native American and Mexican roots.
Transportation was easier than I thought. I flew in to Albequerque and then had a short flight into Santa Fe. The shuttle bus took us directly to the hotel.
I am soooo glad we are returning!
I had never been to Santa Fe and the visit was well worth while, especially the tranquillity of the the city and its special architecture, adobe buildings, etc. I found it to be a "very special" kind of place and I remember going out for a stroll in the evenings just to relax and "think deep thoughts". I also like the cultural mix that is present there and the presence of Native American and Mexican cultures still alive and thriving.
The hotel is very pleasant and unique and favors a laid back atmosphere where people can mingle, make contacts and new friends. Food was good too. So, in all, I have very fond memories of the conference I attended there and the people I met.
I attended the 2013 regional ICSA meeting in Santa Fe and had a wonderful time there. Besides the conference itself, which was well-organized and lots of fun, allowing for plenty of informal and intimate socializing, the hotel ("La Fonda on the Plaza") is beautiful, atmospheric and very comfortable, with an excellent restaurant and many unique shops and boutiques on the ground floor. The most distinctive thing about Santa Fe, besides its picturesque, genuinely Southwest ambiance, is that it's a world-class art-lover's (and craft-lover's, and photography-lover's) dream. The hotel is very close to scores of art and sculpture galleries, a world-class photography gallery, the Georgia O'Keeffe museum (fantastic), and quite a few museum-like establishments displaying and selling exquisite Native and Southwestern ceramics, jewelry, prize mineral specimens, and local crafts. Lovely place.
In November, 2013, we attended the ICSA conference in Santa Fe. The historic La Fonda Hotel, located near the Plaza with restaurants, shopping, and museums within walking distance, was the perfect setting for the conference. The hotel had many areas (meeting rooms, restaurants, sitting areas) that made it easy for us to relax and mingle with others attending the conference.
As family members of someone in a cult, we feel attending ICSA conferences is the best way to network with other family members, former cult members, and professionals. Every conference that we've attended has had very interesting and informative speakers.