The Santuario de Chimayo is a small church not far from Santa Fe. It's main claim to fame is its healing dirt. Pilgrims come here from far and wide, hoping to be cured of whatever ails them. Some rub the dirt on their bodies; some even eat it. A collection of crutches and braces at the site attests to its effectiveness.
The story of the Santuario started in 1810, when Bernardo Abeyta found a buried cross shining a bright light from underground. This miraculous cross kept returning to the same location, no matter where they took it. Eventually Bernardo became the first to be cured at this spot. Many more have followed, and the Santuario was built on the site.
Now the pastor of the church is sowing doubt among believers. He has faith in the miracles, but says they come from God, not the dirt.
Personally, I've got a baggie of healing dirt from a visit to Chimayo a few years ago. It's sitting in a drawer in the bathroom, and it seems to be working fine from there. I haven't been sick or injured in the meantime, except for a sprained ankle when whitewater rafting in northern Canada, thousands of miles away from my dirt. Could that be just coincidence??
We'll be visiting Chimayo on our Santa Fe trip in September. It's well worth a visit, and we provide baggies in case you want to sample the healing dirt. Hey, what can it hurt? While you're there, check out Holy Chiles across the way for some of the best chile products in New Mexico.