El Santuario de Chimayo is the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in the United States and is described by some as the "Lourdes of the United States".⠀
Around 1800, there were nineteen families living here in what was called then El Potrero de Chimayo. Don Benardo Abeyta was one of the residents and his land is what the current church is built upon. He built a small chapel for the local residents to worship in 1810 and dedicated it to Esquipulas, a Catholic pilgrimage site Guatemala with clay that has been ascribed healing powers.⠀
As the local Chimayo community grew, Abeyta lobbied Catholic officials for a larger church and stories began to emerge of miraculous cures similar to Esquipulas in Guatemala. In 1816, the current church was built to replace Don Benardo Abeyta's original chapel.⠀
The land, however, remained in the Abeyta family, their main source of income being donations from the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the site. Abeyta's daughter owned the land who then passed it to her daughter. In 1929, a society dedicated to preserving the Latino heritage of Santa Fe purchased the land and donated it to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. In 1970, it was designated a US National Historical Landmark.⠀
Seria bueno convencerte de las ventajas de tenerme. Presentarme un día a tu puerta y con un catálogo a color venderte la idea de un amor compartido, por semanas, para dos, en algún lugar paradisíaco como puede ser mi habitación.
Por la noche haciendo sombras nos inventariamos el uno a otro
y de mañana me vestiria de luz para abrazarte mientras duermes, me encontrarias como fruta al desayuno y al resbalar por tu boca el sabor te sería familiar, voltearias a la cama sintiendo que estoy ahí pero seria tarde,
yo ya habría volado al closet para esperar que vistieras de cal y canto sobre tu cuerpo con mi blanca sombra terciopelo.
Sería la envidia de las aguas y los soles,
del viento ocuparía lugar en tus pulmones, para que no me olvides, para que no me olvides, sobre tu pecho andaría cual voz con alas para volar rompiendo silencios que no existen. -Edel Juárez, Costo/Beneficio, 2005.
On our drive to Arkansas during the week of Thanksgiving, we went via the Talimena Scenic Byway that runs about 53 miles in the Ouachita Mountains and the Ouachita National Forest- it's very much like doing Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia! The two lane road runs along the crest of one of the high ridges of the Ouachitas.
What's cool about this drive is that you're going through some of the most pristine old growth forest in the middle of the United States- because of the rugged terrain and the relatively short height of the trees on the mountains, the land was never good for agriculture and the trees were never commercially valuable to the timber industry. As a result, the Ouachita National Forest looks very much as it has for thousands of years, untouched by any development.
That this natural jewel is only a four hour drive from Dallas/Fort Worth is just icing on the cake!