Les Vilda does not regurgitate history, he lives it! His 8 programs cover life on the trails and the colorful encounters one might have expected. He draws from his personal explorations of these trails and characters to bring each program to life. He engages learners of all ages with hands-on 19th century navigation, fire-building with flint and steel or burning glass, and rope making.
Vilda has been actively researching and presenting programs on Western U.S. History (1800-1850) since 1983, having presented his Santa Fe Trail program alone well over 650 times in 16 states.
He has done consulting work for Western artists, authors, and the National Park Service. Vilda is also a published author and recording artist. He was awarded the title of “Ambassador of the Santa Fe Trail” by the Santa Fe Trail Association in 1987 and has been performing consistently since then.