Sandoval County

San Ysidro Church with Silver Cupola and Cross

Church at San Ysidro, New Mexico

Old Adobe Church
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Karen Rivera Spring 2010

The village of San Ysidro, originally a farming settlement, was named after Saint Isidore the Farmer in 1699. San Ysidro holds an annual Fiesta in his honor each year in mid-May.


4 Corners Baskets ~ Zia Pueblo, New Mexico

Four Corners Baskets
Zia Pueblo
July 2010
Karen Rivera

Local Native American Basket Makers incorporate the designs of crosses, native plants, mountains and rivers into their wonderful baskets. Made of raw reeds and natural dyes, the basketmakers weave spirituality into their art.


Carlos Sena’s Carved Cross

Carlos Sena’s Carved Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetary
Bernalillo, New Mexico
kd sebastian 2010

This unusual obelisk style grave stone is beautifully carved by hand from rock brought down from Dixon, New Mexico. Lilies, matching flaming hearts and stylized swirls give a European feel to this stone. Truly the work of a craftsman, it stood out as one of the few stones not vandalized or tagged with gang signed graffiti.


Andreita Avila’s Cross

Andreita Avila’s Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery
Bernalillo, New Mexico
kd sebastian 21010

There’s something so touching about handmade grave markers. Many of the cemeteries in New Mexico have suffered from vandalism and neglect. Families die out, move away or simply abandon the traditional New Mexican ways.

My favorite crosses are what I call the “hard times” crosses: handmade from whatever durable materials could be afforded. Rebar, cement, wood, rocks–everything is fair game and free. Oddly enough, the poorer the community, the better kept the graveyards are.

Andreita Avila’s Cross is on the left side of Our Lady of Sorrows Graveyard in Bernalillo, New Mexico. It’s proximity to the Placitas off-ramp has made it a vandal’s dream so it was heart-warming to find this small pocket size memorial exactly where it was placed  years ago.