A California native who’s lived in Colorado for 25 years, Jan has been a tour guide for four of her five years at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Two daughters, two grandsons and two great-grandchildren have given her a lifetime of experience with children. Jan’s favorite part of giving tours: “seeing their excitement to learn new things about old things.” Having studied the ‘Native way’ for many years, she says she “really wants the kids to learn about our cultural ancestors.” Jan spends her spare time exploring the mountains and says she’s impressed by “the intelligence of these pre-historic people in making and using their tools and living off of their natural surroundings.”
General manager of the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Michele has lead tours for 22 years. “I try to engage them all,” she says. “I can keep the students’ attention and keep them interested and listening.” Her favorite part of giving tours: “the kids’ excitement when they’ve retained or learned something.” One aspect of Anasazi life that Michele wants children to remember is “the simplicity of their lives, the importance to survive and work for it.” She says that the many parks, trails, and huge variety of people make the Pikes Peak region unique. “Colorado’s Fourteeners fascinate me,” says Michele, who’s from Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings operations manager, Rob has been here for 7 years, “but my wife has been here 22 years, so it feels like longer,” he says. The Colorado Springs native has spent a lot of time with nieces and nephews. He enjoys working with kids and says his strength as a guide is patience. Rob likes seeing childrens’ imaginations work: “they see things differently than we do.” His favorite things about the Anasazi are “the mystery of their disappearance and how intelligent they were with what little they had to work with.”
Sean has worked at the Mantiou Cliff Dwellings since 1998 and has been giving school tours since 2005. “I love working with kids and could see myself as a teacher one day,” he says. Sean likes seeing how much fun kids have when they learn something new; “they just light up.” What fascinates Sean about Anasazi culture? “I enjoy the mystery of their disappearance,” he says. “Being born here in Manitou, I am always interested in learning new facts about the area.”
Having grown up right next door to Colorado, Paige longed to move to the Pikes Peak Region for the people and the adventure. She “loves the way the Native Americans appreciate and respect nature” and how “Colorado natives still strive to keep things that way as well”. Paige grew up in Kansas and moved out to Colorado and joined the Manitou Cliff Dwellings family the fall of 2012. She has spent 5 plus years working with children and hopes to have some of her own someday. Her favorite aspect of working with children is being able to be around their carefree spirits and endless imaginations. Paige’s greatest strength as a teacher and guide is being able to communicate with the children all while still making it fun for them.
Brianna came to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings in February of 2013 straight from the Black Hills of South Dakota. “The Pikes Peak Region has it all,” she says, “From the city life of Colorado Springs, to the small town vibe of Manitou, to the outdoor adventure of the Rockies!” Having grown up with four younger brothers, she has been relating to kids of all ages her entire life. Bri loves being able to relate to the kids in the tours, “Children have a wide capacity for creativity and imagination” she admires. Her favorite detail about the Anasazi culture is how intelligent they were and how complex their society was for being such a primitive people.