NUEVO MEXICO PROFUNDO
EXCURSIONS TO THE PRESENT PAST
Photo by T. Harmon Parkhurst. Church at Cordova, New Mexico, circa 1925 – 1945. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), negative number 009037.
NUEVO MEXICO PROFUNDO was established in 2019
and received its 501(c)(3) status in 2022. We operate independently and often collaborate with community, tribal, and institutional partners, among them the Historic Santa Fe Foundation.
Profundo’s recent accomplishments include the Profundo Heritage Archive, the conservation of historic santero art at the churches in Córdova and Las Trampas, and the expansion of tours to historic and heritage-culture sites statewide.
In 2022 Profundo was featured in a suite of articles on historic churches in New Mexico Magazine, here, here, and here. Profundo received a 2023 Heritage Preservation Award from the State of New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee.
NUEVO MEXICO PROFUNDO was developed by Frank Graziano, Rebecca Montoya, and Pete Warzel. The program objectives are to raise funds for historic church maintenance and restoration, to diversify the uses of the churches, to contribute to cultural enhancement and economic development in rural areas, to increase awareness of the need for historic and heritage preservation, to provide unique cultural experiences in historic settings, and to develop other initiatives pertinent to the heritage and cultures of New Mexico. Profundo is staffed by volunteers. The current board members are Frank Graziano, Susan Horn, Sana Morrow, and Pete Warzel.
CONCERTS in the historic churches are informal gatherings that fuse the music and the ambience into unique experiences. Some of the events are candle- and lantern-lit (village churches often have no electricity), and many are in churches rarely seen by non-parishioners. The performances are generally preceded by informal church visits and by conversation with the musicians, and they are prefaced by a welcome and/or a brief talk on the church’s history and culture. Some performances coincide with feast-day celebrations.
GUIDED TOURS first departed from the Santuario de Chimayó to the historic churches in Córdova, Truchas, and Las Trampas, and these tours continue. The High Road churches are particularly outstanding for their historical and cultural importance and their conservation of santero altar screens. Tours to relatively unseen churches elsewhere in New Mexico were later developed: in Mora County, along the Pecos River, and at the Zuni, Mescalero Apache, and Navajo reservations.