CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – Thousands are making the journey to El Santuario De Chimayo today for Good Friday. The faithful believe the soil there is special, but each pilgrim has their own reason for making the trek.
The pilgrimage is about prayer, sacrifice and reflection. Many people that KRQE News 13 talked to say they have additional reasons for walking.
“This is year 19 for me. I do the trek ever since I moved to Santa Fe and it’s very important to me it makes me feel very attached to this place that I love,” Patty Karlovitz said.
Worshippers have flocked to the holy site each Easter season for 200 years, many in search of the shrine’s holy dirt. The faithful believe it has healing powers.
The shrine in Chimayo sees nearly 200,000 visitors each year, with the majority in town this week.
It’s an annual tradition for many, but some say passing down that tradition is just as important as honoring it.
“[It is] something that we have to do for people who have done it for us when we were kids,” Manuel Bojorquz said.
“It’s nice to be able to show the younger generation about our culture and just giving thanks,” Debbie Trujillo said.
Pilgrims said the weather is pretty spot-on for their journey, it is a lot cooler than last year. However, they say the journey is still tough.
Law enforcement has tried to make it a bit easier, though. There will be extra patrols from law enforcement making sure all pilgrims stay safe.
Some lanes of travel have been blocked along with way.The state came out here earlier this week to mark those areas for drivers and walkers.
Thousands will also make the trek up Tome Hill in Valencia County on Good Friday. The tradition began years ago with the Penitentes who made the pilgrimage to make penance.
Many walk as symbol of their faith and also to reflect and pray.
Pilgrims are greeted by three crosses at the top of the hill.
Some say they have experienced miracles of healing when they reach the top.