The small villages along Highway 55 have always held a special place in my hard-scrabble New Mexican heart. Using the few resources available in the barren, harsh acres early settlers recycled the ever-present rocks into homes, walls, and churches.
In Punta de Aqua, the rough-cut stone San Antonio Church stands as a monument to an earlier example of sustainable and green building.
If you’d like to walk through Punta de Aqua at street level, click here to go to Google Maps, then click satellite.
Andreita Avila’s Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery
Bernalillo, New Mexico
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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.