There are many traditions in New Mexico -- green chile harvesting, lighting luminarias -- but there is nothing that attracts people from all over the world like the pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayo.
Located at an elevation of more than 6000 feet and east of Espanola, thousands of people visit a Spanish mission tucked away in the mountains during Holy Week. Most walkers start near the village of Nambe, others start in Santa Fe and a select few begin their trek in Albuquerque, more than 80 miles away.
Along the way people carry crosses with the names of loved ones. Some walk their dogs and others push their loved ones in a wheelchair through the pastel colored desert and the rising hills. Some people carry their burdens for their God to absolve them.
“By the time (my husband got there) he was on his knees — he couldn’t walk anymore,” one participant said. “It helps your soul more than anything.”
Some walk for the tradition.
A white cross stands alone on top of a hill, close to the highway. Walkers digress off the road and hike through a washed-out arroyo to say a quick prayer. Rosaries, candles and prayer cards decorate the base of the cross. Adjacent to the cross is a bush with rosaries hanging from the limbs like ornaments on a christmas tree. They sway in the breeze, and serve as a memory to those making their journey.
Anthony Jackson is the photo editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.
Danielle Prokop is a senior reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ProkopDani.