Local Entities Prepare for Yearly Santuario Pilgrimage

Law enforcement, emergency services and safety regulators from several local pueblos, the City of Española and Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties are working collectively to assure every safety measure is taken and precaution is in place for walkers and event coordinators alike for the annual pilgrimage to the Santuario De Chimayo, typically running from the Thursday (March 28) before Good Friday to Easter Sunday (March 31). According to Mateo DeVargas, RAC’s Emergency Management Office Director, all the entities that are working together have already begun meeting to coordinate emergency communication strategies, traffic flow regulation and emergency preparation strategies.

“Last year’s event went well with only very minor incidents, such as slight dehydration; we are hoping that this year will run just as smoothly,” DeVargas said.  Thousands of people usually visit the Santuario every Easter holiday and this year there will be about 26 entities present to guarantee the safety of the public.

Walkers and vendors are given the following reminders and tips:

  • Walk against traffic
  • Dress appropriate for weather and wear comfortable walking shoes
  • If walking at night, wear reflective clothing and use flashlights and glow sticks
  • Keep an eye out for water stations and first aid booths
  • Stay hydrated
  • In case of an emergency, dial 911
  • Keep animals on a leash
  • Assure small children are kept close to adults
  • Diabetes patients are encouraged to carry water and snacks at all times
  • No vending, except on private properties

For more information concerning safety measures for the Santuario Pilgrimage, please call (505) 747-1941. 

-Erika L. Martinez, March 2013