Pilgrimages to Chimayó and Tomé Hill take place for Good Friday

Pilgrimages to Chimayó and Tomé Hill take place for Good Friday

Good Friday is a day sacred to Christians worldwide and here in New Mexico where people in the hundreds, even thousands, pilgrimaged to two sacred places in our state.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For many Christians in New Mexico, Good Friday is an important day of Holy Week so they’re making the pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó and Tomé Hill.

On Good Friday, thousands of people from New Mexico – and beyond – set out on these pilgrimages here in our state.

El Santuario de Chimayó is sacred to believers who say it holds healing powers in its holy dirt. It is around 28 miles north of Santa Fe, while Tomé Hill is around 24 miles south of Albuquerque.

If you’re going to Tomé Hill, there are some rules you’ll need to follow:

  1. No animals are allowed on the hill
  2. Don’t mess with wildlife. Many living organisms there are endangered
  3. Remember to pick up your trash

The pilgrimage to Chimayó begins Thursday night and extends throughout Easter weekend. Still, it attracts thousands of people of all ages every year.

People not only travel by foot but also by car. It’s a time of reflection, faith and devotion.

If you’re part of this trek, there are several safety measures in place.

“In past years, we’ve seen as many as 300,000 people coming through the area from Thursday through Sunday. So we are expecting that to rise as well,” said Ignacio Dominguez, an emergency management coordinator.

With that many pilgrims, the Santa Fe County Fire Department and 29 other agencies are working to keep everyone safe.

“They are there for your safety and just to make sure that everything runs smoothly. And, in the event of something, they can respond quickly,” Dominguez said.

First responders say they also want the public to do their part to keep people safe. That means reminding drivers to stay alert and watch out for people walking on the side of the road.

For those walking, they want to make sure they’re staying on the marked paths.

“Once you get close, into Chimayó, there will be restrooms along the route for them,” Dominguez said. “Don’t say, ‘Well I shouldn’t drink because I can’t find a restroom.’ We will have portable restrooms along the route as well. Stay hydrated. Stay safe. Be seen.”

If you travel along the pilgrimage route, you will likely encounter delays. That includes traveling north from Santa Fe as well as Road 75 from Española to Chimayó.

There is also an option to take a bus to Chimayó. The fare is free and, if you’d like to learn more, you can click here.