New Mexico Catholics Begin Annual Chimayo Pilgrimage

El Santuario de Chimayo in Northern New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Russell Contreras.
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
March 29, 2013

An annual Good Friday pilgrimage is underway in Northern New Mexico. Tens of thousands of Catholics are expected to visit a tiny church that's nearly 200 years old.

Many arrive by foot on a multi-day journey that includes traversing a major U.S. highway. Some come to seek forgiveness, others to ask for help or give thanks.

It's a long-standing Good Friday tradition in New Mexico for Catholic pilgrims to make the trip to El Santuario de Chimayo. It's a tiny adobe church 30 minutes north of Santa Fe believed to be site of a miraculous healing.

Inside is a small well filled with red earth which the faithful scoop into pouches and small containers. This year locals plan to receive an estimated 50,000 visitors.

Roads leading up to the small town of Chimayo are heavy with traffic and police are cautioning motorists to look our for pedestrians.

Many making the trek documented the journey through social media.

El Santuario de Chimayo