CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – Every year thousands of New Mexicans flock to El Santuario de Chimayo on Good Friday.
It’s been a tradition for nearly 200 years.
KRQE News 13 talked to one mother who is walking with her two young boys. She believes this walk helps heal her son’s heart.
Since the sunset over the Sangre de Cristo mountains Thursday night, groups of people hugged one shoulder of the highway and set forth on their journey.
A journey where everyone has a reason to walk.
People carry crosses, pray in groups and welcome strangers. Thousands make their way to Chimayo for Good Friday each year.
Once they cross over the final hill, they reach the small adobe church. Some of the walkers, dust off all the miles in a cool stream they believe is holy.
Athena Perea is on her 10th journey, with one young son on her back and her 10-year-old son by her side.
“It’s pretty hard usually, I get pretty tired going up the steep hills,” Perea said.
But seeing 10-year-old Gabriel take these steps is all the miracle she needs to keep going.
“He’s had a couple heart surgeries so we’re grateful for the health that he’s had,” Perea said.
But Gabriel tells us he doesn’t think about himself during his walk to holy land.
“I’m praying for Jesus,” Gabriel said.
KRQE News 13 also spoke to Lucy Moorhead, who is on her 17th journey to Chimayo.
“Every year — I’ve lost two sisters, I lost my mother and my husband — so every year I mark it,” Moorhead said. “It renews you. It makes you feel like a better person, it really does, and I’m just glad I have my daughter now to do it with.”
Many people are still making their way to the adobe church to pray and collect the dirt.
There is still a long line of people trying to make their way into the church. Groups of people have also started the Stations of the Cross around the church.