Chimayo & Los Alamos, NM - 03/23/2012

Published at 10:58 PM in ,

El Santuario de Chimayo

Today we drove up into the Sangre de Cristo mountains to a little village called Chimayo and then over to Los Alamos.

Chimayo is home to El Santuario de Chimayo - the Shrine of Chimayo.  This little church stuck in the hills of New Mexico is a beautiful adobe building, with beautiful flowers planted everywhere that were beginning to bloom, as well as an outdoor gathering area in the garden.

At the creek behind the church

Chimayo is primarily known for the pilgrimages people make here for the dirt.  Yes, that's right, the dirt.  It is supposed to have miraculous healing properties that date back to at least 1813.  People have boiled the dirt and drank it with tea, although the church says specifically it isn't to be eaten or drunk.  Most people rub it on ailing body parts while praying to Jesus for healing.

Pictures weren't allowed in the sanctuary or in the room with the Holy Dirt, so we don't have any to share of that.  It was a pretty little church with lots of history, and a nice way to start the day.

The Bradbury Science Museum

After Chimayo, we headed to Los Alamos.  Los Alamos is where the atomic bombs were actually made.  After the uranium was enriched in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where we visited the home of the Manhattan Project, it was sent by train to Los Alamos where the bomb was then built.  This was another awesome example of how we were able to tie parts of history around the country together for the kids.

History lesson

We visited the Bradbury Science Museum, located in central Los Alamos, and what they call a "Window into the Los Alamos National Labratory."  This museum had a historical timeline of Los Alamos and how it came to be, plus several hands-on science experiments and puzzles.  There were history movies, as well.  One really neat part was the models of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man".  While we enjoyed our visit, most of the science information was over the kids' heads.  It seemed to be geared more towards a high school science level.

The two atomic bomb models

After leaving Los Alamos, we headed down out of the mountains and back towards Santa Fe.  We wanted to get as far as possible before dark.  We are headed into TEXAS!  Yay!

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!

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