Tuesday, September 11


[All shots taken with my iPhone]

Last month I took a couple trips out to Chimayo to visit El Santuario de Chimayo to take photographs. It's about 30 minutes north of Santa Fe so it's an easy afternoon drive for me to do solo.

It's also a fascinating place. The Santuario is built on a spot that is believed to be very sacred. Around Easter time, people walk there from all over New Mexico, some carrying crucifixes or other offerings. And thousands of people visit every year to take away some of the "holy dirt" that is found in a little room off of the main chapel.  People believe the holy dirt to have healing powers. Some rub it on their bodies, some mix it in with water to drink and some just take it home to put on an altar. I actually have a little vial of it that I put in my suitcase every time we travel.

In another larger room off the main chapel, there are crutches and canes that have been left because they are no longer needed by the injured. People also light candles and leave other offerings, pictures or notes written on a scrap of paper. In this room, there is also a statue of the Santo Niño de Atocha. People leave offerings of shoes for him because he is said to roam the countryside at night so his shoes are always worn out.

I don't have any photographs of the main chapel or these other rooms because photography is not allowed inside and I choose to respect that rule. But you can take photos pretty much every where else around there. And there is a lot to see. Starting from the parking lot, there are crosses all over the fences, sticks tied together, popsicle sticks and flowers woven all around (as you can see in some of the above photos). Then there are quite a few smaller altars leading up the pathway to the Santuario.

Chimayo crosses
[Polaroid Automatic 250 + expired Polaroid ID-UV instant film]

[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 V4B Opacification Test Film]


Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
[Polaroid SX-70 w/ ND filter + PX680 Gold Frame film]

El Santuario de Chimayo
[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX100 Cool instant film]

Chimayo and the Santuario are also places of family history for me. My mother's maternal grandparents (my great-grandparents) settled in Chimayo way back when and my mom spent quite a bit of time there as a child.

Great grandparents - c.1937

My great-grandfather was the first Postmaster there and as such, he and my great-grandmother are buried in the courtyard of the Santuario.


[Polaroid Automatic 250 + Fuji FP-100B film]

I'm not religious at all, but I like it out there. As long as there aren't too many tourists, it's rather peaceful. And I love all the religious icons and altars and candles and everything. It's really interesting to me.

I hope to get back out there again soon, this time with Will so he can help me lug my cameras around and also so we can have lunch at the restaurant out there.

I'm quite pleased with many of the instant shots I took out there so I'll be sharing more, if not here, then for sure on Flickr. You can see the whole set here. It includes digital photos taken a long time ago in addition to the more recent shots.

1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful shots. It looks like a gorgeous place and it's so interesting to read about your family connection to it! Thank you for sharing Juli!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.