Before dawn, thousands of pilgrims set off on a Good Friday march to El Santuario de Chimayo as part of a centuries old tradition.
Chimayo is a National Historic Landmark, and some 200,000 people are estimated to visit each year, with the bulk occurring during Holy Week. The draw is a shrine that houses a small pit of holy dirt that some believe possesses curing powers.
For two centuries, Hispanic and Native American pilgrims have made spiritual journeys to Chimayo. Many of them carry along photos of sick relatives and requests for miracles.
Law enforcement agencies and the state Department of Transportation are working to make the crowded walking areas along the route safer by handing out glow sticks to pilgrims and closing roadside stands along the highways.
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