JESSICA RINALDI

Pilgrimage to Chimayo

Every year during Easter weekend thousands of visitors make a pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico. Some drive, while others come on foot from as far away as Colorado and Mexico walking along the sides of Interstate Highways to reach the small chapel where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal.

Bernadette Saavedre walks along the side of the road as she makes her pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
  
People make a pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 22, 2011. Thousands of people, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado, walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend where, they believe, the dirt inside holds the power to heal.
  
Aztec dancers from Taos, New Mexico perform in front of the entrance to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 7, 2007.
     
  
A cross is seen on the hill as the sun rises on Easter morning in Chimayo, New Mexico April 24, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
  
Melicio Fresquez, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, performs a pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 6, 2007.
  
Members of La Danza del Santo Nino take cover from the rain against the side of El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 24, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
     
  
Women stop to pray at a cross during a pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 7, 2007.
  
A photo of a man and baby which reads,
  
Mel Ortiz helps his wife, Catalina, out of the door after the two made their pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
     
  
A man prays inside El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
  
A crucifix hangs on the wall beside crutches left behind by people who were healed at El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
  
Visitors to El Santuario de Chimayo enter a small room in order to collect dirt they believe has healing powers in Chimayo, New Mexico April 7, 2007.
     
  
Women pray inside the holy dirt room at El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
  
Men touch the holy dirt at El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 8, 2007.
  
The Esquibeo family prays over the holy dirt at El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado.
     
  
Father Julio Gonzalez leads the Easter Mass at El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 8, 2007.
  
Marianita Davey prays outside El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 8, 2007.
  
Pilgrims carry crosses along the side of the high road that leads to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 8, 2007.