El Santuario de Chimayo Signpost
The Santuario de Chimayó is a catholic sanctuary and National Historic Landmark located in the historic town of Chimayó, New Mexico. It is over 200 years old, and is maintained by the Sons of the Holy Family. Chimayo is a sacred place based around two particularly significant sites; the first, a tiny shrine built on the miraculous spot associated with the crucifix of “Our Lord of Esquipulas” and the second a small pit of dirt called “el pocito” which is said to have healing powers. The Santuario was first discovered by the Native Americans and is now a place where tens of thousands of people make pilgrimages to have their prayers answered and their ailments cured.
The Pilgrim's Statue
View of the courtyard of the Santuario de Chimayo from the vantage point of the Pilgrim’s statue. The plaque on the front of the statue reads: “Come pilgrims, from the four corners of the earth...the Lord has invited us to walk to His shrine of love in Chimayo. Here we will find the “holy dirt” that strengthens us and purifies the faith that takes away our pain.”
Wooden crosses line the lower irrigation canal.
Each year an estimated 300,000 people make a pilgrimage to this site during Holy Week.
Adobe entrance to the Sanctuary.
The sanctuary originally began as a small chapel, which was built of adobe and is flanked by two bell towers.
Chimayo is also the sight of Hispanic art, including many religious frescoes.
The ornate entrance to the chapel.
The "elegant" doors were carved by the 19th-century carpenter Pedro Domínguez.
The famed 6-foot Crucifix
The chapel is built on the site of what many believe to be a miracle associated with the 6-foot tall crucifix of "Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas" (Our Lord of Esquipulas).
In a small room, known as "el pocito" (the well), is a small, circular pit that is filled with "holy dirt". Many believe this dirt to possess healing powers and travel to Chimayó in order to cure themselves of their ailments; visitors to the Santuario have been known to rub the dirt on their bodies - some going so far as to consume it - in an attempt to heal their sicknesses.
Wall of evidence.
A wall of crutches left behind by those who say they no longer need them serves as a testament to the healing powers of the dirt of Chimayó.
Offerings left to the Virgin Guadalupe.
Ex-votos, or votive offerings, are left by pilgrims outside of the chapel.
People leave shoes and pictures of the healed as testament to the miracles believed to have taken place at the Santuario.