El Santuario de Chimayo - Chimayo, New Mexico
The El Santuario de Chimayo is considered the most important pilgrimage site in the United States. Its popularity owes to the curative powers of the “Tierra Bendita” or “holy dirt” found in a small hole in a precept off the main altar. For nearly 200 years, the dirt is believed by many to have miraculous healing powers over a wide variety of ailments and afflictions.
One of the most visited tourist attractions in New Mexico, the Santuario hosts over 300,000 visitors a year. During Holy Week alone, over 30,000 people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Chimayo. The local tradition is to walk, and people walk to Chimayo from all over the state of New Mexico, some traversing over 100 miles. Some people make the journey barefoot or on their hands and knees, and others carry enormous wooden crosses or put cactus needles in their shoes in order to demonstrate their devotion.
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