El Santuario de Chimayó, New Mexico, USA

El Santuario de Chimayó, from inside the gate

Another interesting site on our itinerary was El Santuario de Chimayó. Every year, as many as 30,000 pilgrims make their way to the Sanctuary, especially during the holy week before Easter. It is believed that miraculous cures happened here, about 200 years ago, and that is why it is also called "The Lourdes of America".

View from outside the gate

The miracles are said to have occurred on the spot where a wooden cross was unearthed. And it was on this place that the local residents built the chapel (completed in 1816).

One of the reasons for visiting this iconic building, was to take photographs. Efraín Padró's book, The Photographer's Guide to New Mexico, accompanied us everywhere, and we diligently followed his tips and suggestions of how to get the best shots of the chapel in Chimayó.

We tried to copy one of Efraín's images from his book

In his book, Efraín encouraged us to walk around our subject and find a wide range of compositions.
We spent ages trying to figure out how Efraín got the above shot. Our conclusion was that he must have been lying on the floor! My shot is not quite as accomplished as I would like, as I didn't get the top of the gate in. I really needed to get down even lower, or use a wide-angled lens. One for my wish list!

Another view of the chapel

Efraín also talks about using creative editing in a program like Photoshop. So here is my attempt at a painting-like rendering of my subject, below.

This was another great site to visit in New Mexico. We were so lucky that Pamela was happy to take us around, and especially delighted that we had the companionship of Buckley, too!


by Elizabeth Coughlan


  1. Very cute name for your blog and of course well written and engaging.


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