Know Your Neighbor: Yolanda Vigil

By Kathy Córdova
For The Taos News
Posted 12/28/18

Vigil likes all foods except green chile.

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Know Your Neighbor: Yolanda Vigil


Are New Year’s resolutions meant to be broken? The advent of a new year causes individuals to ponder about their recent past and any necessary changes in their lives. 

An unofficial oral survey of several Taoseños reveals three different attitudes regarding New Year’s resolutions. Some residents remain eager to seal their intent for a better new year by declaring a New Year’s resolution.

Others make resolutions while keeping their fingers crossed behind their back in hopes they’ll stick with it. Other local Taoseños don’t make a resolution, saying, “I won’t keep it anyway, so why make a resolution?”

Yolanda Vigil counts herself in the latter group. “I don’t keep them, so I don’t make a resolution,” said Vigil during a recent interview. “Sometimes, people resolve to lose weight, to become healthier or go to the gym. Their actions start off strong and then dwindle off. The resolutions they made before, go away. People forget about it.”

Regarding ushering in the new year, Vigil’s favorite activity includes attending a venue where Dwayne Ortega and his band play for the evening. “I don’t know if he’s booked yet, but I’ll find out soon,” said Vigil.

At work: When Vigil isn’t planning her Happy New Year’s activities, she spends time at work. At first, she worked for Amos and Suzette Cohn for eight years. Her primary duties included working as a sales associate at True Value Hardware. Later, her work expanded to office tasks for the Cohn Enterprises at The Water Store and the towing company. “I wanted to try something different, so I switched to insurance work,” said Vigil.

She worked at Famers Insurance and earned licensure credentials for property and casualty policies. Vigil also worked at Insurance Exchange. Ten years ago, in March, Vigil accepted a position at Brown and Brown Insurance Agency.

Currently, she serves as an office operations leader for the Taos office. “Many people think that Brown and Brown is a local business. It’s actually very large. In New Mexico. There are three locations: Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. My duties include daily office operations and HR (human resources). I also specialize in commercial insurance. I’ve been involved in insurance for the past 16 years,” Vigil said.

On occasion, Yolanda Vigil travels. Her trips to Florida remain work-related in nature. In late September and early October, she traveled to St. Martin, which she described, “not super-hot, because of the time of year, and very relaxing.” From time to time, Vigil visits her brother in Massachusetts, and during one of those visits, he took her to New York. She has also visited Nashville and California.

Spare time: On a personal level, the self-proclaimed “homebody” enjoys special time with her children. She walks her “very spoiled” golden Labrador Madge and cares for 22-year-old cockatiel Selena. On television, she likes “The Walking Dead” and science fiction.

Favorite foods: Vigil likes all foods except green chile. “People tease me because I don’t like green chile, and they add, ‘Look where you live.’ When the food stores in Taos roast the chile, I try to avoid the area because I can’t stand the smell,” confessed Vigil.

Other than her aversion to green chile, Vigil likes all foods, especially hamburgers. She enjoys the Taos restaurants and misses her mother’s white cheese, which Yolanda also learned to prepare.

Family life: Vigil grew up in the Arroyo Seco area under the guidance of her late parents, Frank and Mary Madrid. The second of four children, her siblings include: Evelyn Rael of Santa Fe, Pam Torres from Rio Rancho and Frankie Madrid, who resides in Massachusetts. Vigil spends as much time as possible with her family members. Her daughter Vanessa Kim and son-in-law Philip raise their son, Noah, who attends high school. Steven Vigil, Yolanda’s youngest, works at Taos Ski Valley.

“A new year usually means a new beginning. We look forward to a new time, one for change. That change should be one that would improve people’s lives. Whether someone makes a resolution or not is entirely up to every individual. Even if I don’t make one, I still plan to improve some things. The transition from one year to another marks the passage of time,” said Vigil. “We all have the obligation to make our lives better, regardless of how or when the improvements or changes occur.”


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