Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 80 miles for up to 1.5 hours over the course of the day; walking up to several blocks over varied terrain with inclines, including unpaved dirt; standing for up to 1 hour at Santuario, and weaving gallery; standing for up to 2 hours at Museum Hill.
We'll travel 30 miles north to the village of Chimayó. On arrival, we'll visit El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." Many of the faithful believe that the Santuario is built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers. Inside, a small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the tierra bendita (blessed earth). We then go to Centinela Traditional Arts Weaving Gallery. Many local families have been carrying on the traditions of Hispanic-style weaving for generations. We'll have the opportunity to see some beautiful pieces by an award-winning, seventh-generation weaver, whose work is on display in a number of museums, including the Smithsonian.
We'll have lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda. Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, the fruit of the Capsicum plant; most traditional New Mexican dishes are prepared with red or green chile. (New Mexico's official state question is "Red or green?" If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!") Our group will have a plated meal, ordering from a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Additional beverages available for purchase.
We'll travel back to Santa Fe and go to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from the earliest times to modern day, scrupulously documented and beautifully displayed. Most of the work is from the Southwest. The Museum of International Folk Art focuses on indigenous populations from around the world through their art – ranging from ceremonial dress and masks to furniture. The museum hosts the largest collection of international folk art in the world, including wings featuring some of the 106,000 pieces donated by collectors Alexander and Susan Girard and Lloyd Cotsen's Neutrogena collection. In late afternoon, we'll gather at the hotel, board our motorcoach and travel a few miles south of Santa Fe to Red Mesa Cuisine in Eldorado. Before dinner, we will hear from local chef Lois Ellen Frank, PhD, a Native American foods historian, culinary anthropologist, photographer, and James Beard Award-winning author.
At Red Mesa Cuisine, we'll enjoy a meal featuring regional cuisine prepared by Dr. Frank.
We will return to the hotel. At our program closing in the meeting room, we'll share our experiences and say farewell to new friends.