The valley has a rich cultural tradition, with Spanish-speaking residents, who live in the central and southern portions of the San Luis Valley, making up one half of the total population. The central and northern areas of the valley in Colorado are predominately "Anglo".
The southern and middle portions of the valley were the first settled regions of Colorado, and over the border in New Mexico are some of the oldest European settlements in the country. The San Luis area was the first settled areas in Colorado and the town was founded in 1852. The 16th and 17th century influx of settlers from New Mexico brought families of pioneers who have descendents living in the SLV today .
Crestone, in the northeastern corner of the valley, is a community of mainly "urban refugees." An odd assortment of monks, priests, llamas, nuns, new ager's, retired hippies, guru wannabees, pychics, even retired military and law enforcement, you get the picture.