San Ysidro Day: Community gathers for acequia blessing

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Many people gathered in the South Valley Saturday morning around the San Ysidro carousel for the annual San Ysidro Day celebration.

Santiago Maestas, one of the leaders of the celebration, says the tradition goes back hundreds of years.

“San Ysidro would not go to church and so an angel came and admonished him,” Maestas said. “He suffered as a result of still refusing to go to church and such. So he suffered, first, a plague of grasshoppers, during a plague of hail.”

Maestas said finally San Ysidro fell in love with going to church, and the angel agreed to plow the fields so he could go to church every day. Now, New Mexicans still ask him to watch over the waters and the crops.

A procession was led to Sanchez Farm Open Space, where children get to help bless the acequia, offering flowers. Everyone got to offer white cornmeal into its waters.

“I think it’s something really powerful,” said Ruben Loza, who was experiencing the celebration for the first time.

Loza saw firsthand how the blending of Indigenous and Spanish Catholic traditions come together.