KNOWHERE TO GO visits the town of Cerrillos in New Mexico.
Cerrillos is a tiny town off of "The Turquoise Trail", also known as Highway 14, between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Founded in 1880, Cerrillos was in the running to become the state capital of New Mexico.
For 20 years the town thrived as miners found their way down from Colorado to mine the silver and turquoise discovered in the hills. Unfortunately, the settlement just south of Cerrillos had a stronger pull and Cerrillos was disincorporated in the early 1900s.
Today, the atmosphere in Cerrillos is quiet, some might say sleepy, but that doesn't mean it isn't friendly. As I was walked around with my camera, every person in their car, slowed down, smiled and waved. An older woman invited me into the St. Joseph's Church, which I later learned was built in 1922. Inside the church, I found myself in conversation with an 84 year old who has lived in Cerrillos all her life. She had been baptized and married in the St. Joseph's church and had never intended to leave. She showed me the pane of stained glass she had installed in one of the church's windows to commemorate her family. She invited me to enjoy a mural in the prayer room that was commissioned by her Brother; and she explained to me that every Sunday there is a service, and the people of the parish pride themselves on how clean and tidy the church is.
The dirt streets in Cerrillos have an old world authenticity that reminds you to slow down as you drive around the town's 6 streets. While First Street only has a few buildings and store fronts, and even fewer businesses in them, the town has an energy to it. At the end of Waldo Street there is a wonderful shop that sells beads, glass, turquoise, quartz rocks and other whatnots. Attached to its left side is also a petting zoo with a few choice animals and birds.
While there may not be a lot happening in Cerrillos, there is an unmistakable life and a reminder to slow down, breathe and be present.