Our Lady of Miracles
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico
Karen Rivera 2010
Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico
I shoot a lot of cemetaries. For heart-rending, technicolor boisterous displays, you just can’t beat a New Mexican cemetary on Easter, Day of the Dead or Christmas. I’ve made it to my favorite, the Nambe Church cemetary in Nambe, every Boxing Day for most of the last 20 years. I follow that up with New Year’s Day in Acoma. It seems to make the perfect emotional double-header.
I found this small, weathered cross tucked away in a far corner surrounded by tumbleweeds and scruffy dead plants. The new flowers shows that this lonely hidden grave hadn’t been forgotten.
On the Road Between Cimarron and Taos
The first time I went to one of the pueblos to watch the dancing I was served a small cracked hand-painted bowl of this vegetarian stew. I’ve made it ever since I had my first garden when I was a child. It’s rich, comforting and simple but like most dishes that contain green chili, the whole is tastier than the individual ingredients. Serve with freshly made corn tortillas, bowls of salsa and some cold hand-crafted beer from the brewery at Christ in the Desert.
2 ears of fresh corn, kennels cut from cob
1 large yellow onion, chopped medium
1/2 roasted, peeled and chopped hot green chil
1 TBL chopped garlic
4 c. peeled, seeded and chopped unripe pumpkin or banana squash
2 TBL oil (grapeseed if possible)
In a large kettle, saute onion and pumpkin or squash until the onion is translucent.
Add corn, chili and garlic. Add enough fresh water to prevent sticking. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour.
Church Tower with Cross, Chimayo
Chimayo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera 2007
Golden, New Mexico, on the Turquoise Trail, is having a bit of a renaissance these days. It’s still a ghost town but the few houses have been restored and the old Mercantile is open in the summer for the tourists. Built in 1830, he San Francisco Church off Highway 14, doesn’t look much different than when I was shooting black and whites in the mid-70’s. Restored in 1960 by Fray Angelico Chavez while he was the padre of St. Joseph’s Church in Los Cerrillos, the graveyard has mostly escaped the vandalism common to New Mexico’s abandoned mining towns.