Supporting the Santuario


In 1993, eight of us from Colorado first walked in the Chimayó Good Friday Pilgrimage, and we’ve come every year since. 

Over the years, we’ve seen the Santuario and the area around it changed by institutional and commercial interests eager to exploit the “Chimayó” brand. Currently, the developers are held in check by the whole Chimayó community — not just Raymond Bal. They are passionate about keeping Chimayó from becoming an American Lourdes, a process that would thoroughly destroy Chimayó’s spiritus loci, its reason for being loved by tens of thousands as an important touchstone in their lives. 

Whose Santuario?” (HCN, 5/13/19) is well-written and sympathetic to those who oppose change driven by outside interests. Author Gustavo Arellano clearly loves Chimayó, but he seems resigned to it becoming unrecognizable and irrelevant. That needn’t happen. The community has said “no,” but it needs continuing moral support.

Yvonne and John Ashenhurst
Seattle, Washington

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