StoryCorps Historias in Chimayó

On Friday, June 4th the MobileBooth West team headed north from Albuquerque for a day of recording at the Chimayó Museum in Chimayó, New Mexico.

Chimayó Museum Entrance

As participants from Chimayó and nearby Cundiyo arrived to record, many recognized relatives in the photographs hung on the museum’s walls. The building itself is a traditional adobe structure that opens on to the Plaza del Cerró–a Spanish colonial settlement established in 1740. An irrigation ditch or acequia runs by the front of the museum and is part of the system of waterways still used from colonial times to the present to irrigate the land around Chimayó.

A longtime mayordomo or caretaker for one of these acequia‘s, Samuel Vigil, recorded a conversation with his grandson, Mario. At 85, Samuel continues to be the volunteer organizer for the cleaning and maintenance of the collectively owned acequia. Mario grew up with his grandfather in Cundiyo and asked Samuel to share stories about his own childhood in the small town. Mario currently works as a teacher while living on the family’s land in Cundiyo where he plans to stay and carry on the traditions he was raised with.

Samuel Vigil and grandson Mario Vigil

(Samuel Vigil and Mario Vigil)

Like Mario Vigil, Adan Cordova works full time while also sustaining the family’s farm and ranch he was raised on. Adan spoke with his grandfather, Cornelio Trujillo, about his lifetime in the community of Chimayó. Cornelio remembered especially the way work was done communally. Adan grew up working alongside Cornelio–even driving his work truck at age 7. He credits Cornelio with teaching him both the patience and persistence to do work well and his commitment to Chimayó where Adan plans to raise his own children.

Cornelio Trujillo and grandson Adan Cordova

(Cornelio Trujillo and Adan Cordova)

Leona Media Tiede grew up in Chimayó next to the Santuario de Chimayó–a church and major Catholic pilgrimage center. The oldest of 11 children, Leona learned to cook alongside her mother and shared fond memories of making homemade whole wheat tortillas. She now runs a restaurant next to the church serving the thousands of pilgrims who come through each year.

Leona Medina Tiede

(Leona Medina Tiede)



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