San Jose de Gracia Catholic Church in Las Trampas along the High Road to Taos. Courtesy photo
Nuevo Mexico Profundo Presents Guided Tour To High-Road Mission Churches
Nuevo Mexico Profundo presents a tour of three mission churches on the High Road to Taos 2-4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13 (11 a.m. tour is sold out).
Guided tours depart from the Santuario de Chimayó to the historic churches in Córdova, Truchas, and Las Trampas.
These churches, which are rarely seen by nonparishioners, are particularly outstanding for their historical and cultural importance and their conservation of santero altar screens.
Each tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours and is guided by Frank Graziano, author of “Historic Churches Of New Mexico Today” (Oxford University Press, 2019).
The tour is limited to 24 participants. Tickets are available for $20 at
Transportation is by self-drive caravans,in your own car, that line up near the RTD Blue Bus stop, in the lower parking area of the Santuario de Chimayó. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure and, if it is of interest, discuss with others the possibility of carpooling.
The Santuario itself is not included in this tour. Before or after the tour be sure to see the Santuario’s main (Cristo de Esquipulas) chapel and the adjacent rooms with votive offerings and the pocito of holy dirt; the Santo Niño de Atocha chapel; the prayer portal; and the museum/store called Rincón de Don Bernardo Abeyta, where staff can answer questions.
If you are continuing north on the High Road after the tour, en route to Taos there are two other exceptional sites that you might like to visit:
San Lorenzo, Picuris Pueblo
When heading north toward Taos, Route 76 ends in a T at Route 75. Turn left on Route 75, continue about a mile, and make a right turn immediately after Garcia’s Store. There is a brown Picurís Pueblo sign at the turn. You will arrive at the church a few moments later. If you would like to see the church interior, and the historic pueblo including a round tower kiva in a spectacular setting, ask at the tribal office.
Nuestra Senora De La Asuncion, Placita
When heading north toward Taos, Route 76 ends in a T at Route 75. Turn right, and after mile marker 19 turn right again onto Camino del Medio, across from the green water tower. The church’s rounded apse will be in front of you.
Nuevo Mexico Profundo was developed by Frank Graziano, Rebecca Montoya, and Pete Warzel. The participating parishes to date are Holy Family in Chimayó, St. Gertrude in Mora, and Our Lady of Sorrows in Las Vegas.
The program objectives are to raise funds for historic church maintenance and restoration, to diversify the uses of the churches, to contribute to cultural enhancement and economic development in rural areas, to increase awareness of the need for historic and heritage preservation, and to provide unique cultural experiences in historic settings. Funds are raised through ticket sales and donations. The program is staffed by volunteers.
Nuevo Mexico Proundo sponsors concerts in the historic churches. They are informal gatherings that fuse the music and the ambience into unique experiences.
Some of the events are candle- and lantern-lit (village churches often have no electricity), and many are in churches rarely seen by non-parishioners.
The performances are generally preceded by informal church visits and by conversation with the musicians, and they are prefaced by a welcome and/or a brief talk on the church’s history and culture. Some performances coincide with feast-day celebrations.
In addition to the High Road Churches Tour, tours in other areas, particularly Mora County, and in other formats are planned for later development. Inquiries regarding group tours are welcome.
Visit nuevo-mexico-profundo.com for more information.
Santero altar screen at Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church, Truchas. Courtesy photo