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Photographer's Note

Santuario de Chimayo was built in 1816 by Don Bernardo Abeyta the successful land owner who believed in sacred pilgrimage sites where clay dirt had healing powers.

Today over 30,000 people from all over the world make pilgrimages to Chimayo during Holy Week. Walking is traditional with some pilgrims walking as far away as Albuquergue, 90 miles (150 km).

Many visitors take a small amount of the "holy dirt" hoping for a miraculous cure, and some eat the dirt. A more common practice now, is to rub the infected body part with the clay. 25 or more tons of dirt a year has to be replenished from the nearby hillsides.

COSTANTINO, saxo042, kathryn_weir, elenimavrandoni has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1009 W: 1 N: 2579] (10557)
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