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Virginia Sanchez enjoys researching the history of the southwestern U.S. and genealogy. Her first published book, Forgotten Cucharenos of the Lower Valley, now in its second printing, received the 2011 Miles History Award from History Colorado. Her recent book, Pleas and Petitions: Hispano Culture and Legislative Conflict in Territorial Colorado - published in March by the University of Colorado Press, sheds new light on the political obstacles, cultural conflicts, and institutional racism experienced by Hispano legislators in the establishment of the Territory of Colorado.