CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a small town in New Mexico are feeling the strain after their post office caught on fire a couple of months ago. Chimayo and surrounding area residents now drive to the next town to get their mail.
The Chimayo Post Office was destroyed in a fire in February. Now, residents have to drive to the nearest post office in Santa Cruz. It’s about 15 minutes from Chimayo, but people said it’s affecting the community, especially the elderly.
Sammy Martinez said he lives about a mile from the Chimayo Post Office, and he use to go every day. Now that people have to go to Santa Cruz to get their mail, there’s been times when he’s had to wait in line to get his mail.
“It is a hassle, especially for the elderly people. Some people don’t even drive; they have to get their neighbors or somebody to go pick up their mail. It’s become a hassle,” said Martinez, “People are lined up to the door, but like on other days, if you go before noon or something, two to three people are in front of you, which is not a big deal.”
Gino Pacheco has a landscaping business and said he has been struggling too because he now has to go out of his way to drop off and pick up his mail. Pacheco said it’s also affecting surrounding towns that relied on the Chimayo Post Office.
“It’s the main post office. It distributes to other boxes and other communities, Cordova, Truchas all the other surrounding areas, so we really need help,” said Pacheco.
The Santa Fe County Fire Department responded to that Valentine’s Day fire, which did not cause any injuries. The cause is still unknown as the State Fire Marshal investigates.
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The U.S. Postal Service said in an email statement that the landlord of the facility will rebuild the office, but there’s no time frame for when that will happen. Residents said they are trying to get Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez to help.
According to Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández’s office, the politician sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging him to replace the post office in Chimayo. Click here to read the full letter.