Larry Torres is a native of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, where he was born in 1954. He has been a teacher of Spanish, Russian, French, English, Latin, Southwest Studies, Linguistics and Bilingual Education for the past 30 years. He currently teaches at UNM- Taos where he is Assistant Professor of foreign languages.
Larry Torres is internationally recognized as a speaker and presenter in the field of Global Education in foreign language teaching. He has been an actor with the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities' Chautauqua Program. He has successfully completed many years of impersonating Jean-Baptiste Lamy, first Archbishop of Santa Fe, throughout the Southwest. He has also portrayed the persona of conquistador, Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and of Civil Rights activist Reyes López Tijerina.
Mr. Torres is a writer whose work on New Mexico Hispanic culture has touched thousands by way of the Spanish page in the El Crepúsculo section of the weekly publication, The Taos News, and by way of his English columns Aquí en Los Valles, In the Footsteps of the Hermit and ¿Habla Usted Spamglish? His first 100 essays written in Spanish were compiled into the book released through El Crepúsculo Inc. in 1992, titled "Yo Seigo De Taosi." The book was used as a text to teach Spanish for the University or New Mexico. Recently he published the bilingual booklets "Los Cocos y La Coconas; the Bogey Creatures of the Hispanic Southwest" and "Los Matachines Desenmascarados”; an historical interpretation of the ancient dance-drama", "Las Cuatro Apariciones de Guadalupe", "Las Posadas" and "Los Moros y Los Cristianos." His collected works were released by University of New Mexico Press, titled "Six Nuevo Mexicano Folk Dramas for the Advent Season."
After receiving many local, regional, and State honors, Mr. Torres was brought to national prominence in 1992 when the Walt Disney Corporation singled him out as the National Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher of the Year at the Annual Disney Salutes the American Teacher Awards program in Los Angeles, California. In 1993, Mr. Torres won the National Educator Award sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation. He was given a check for $25,000 in recognition of his teaching excellence. That same year, he was also named the Outstanding Young New Mexican for the State. He received a grant for $25,000 from the American Federal Government to explore innovative ways of teaching Russian.
He has appeared in Taos Magazine, Vista Magazine, Spirit Magazine, Santa Fean Magazine, La Herencia Magazine, Mirage Magazine, and in New Mexico Magazine. He has also received commendations from the State Department of Education, from the 41st Legislature of the State of New Mexico and from Ambassadors Bogosian and Pierce.
Most recently, Larry Torres was a recipient of New Mexico's first Golden Apple Award by which he received a fully-paid sabbatical in the Fall of 1996. He has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Excellence in teaching and also received the Excellence in Teaching Award sponsored by the Southwest Coalition of Language Teachers.
Mr. Torres was given the Camino Real Award as one of 15 Outstanding New Mexicans for 1996. In 1998 his radio talk show "Cafecito y Cultura" won first place for best public service from the Associated Press and in 1999 his radio show "Paso a Paso" won a first place for best documentary on the airwaves also by the Associated Press of New Mexico. In his most recent coup in 2003, Larry Torres received a grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work with New Mexico State University in the development of material for the teaching of first generation Hispanic students at the university level. Its focus is on cultural sensitivity training and enhancement.