Vigil for Victor Villalpando

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Photos, Tribute



Rest in Peace, Victor.

Por ser tu divina luz
Dios mio Santo
Ilumina nuesrto Camino
En este dia de escuridad.

Sagrado Corazon de Jesus
Eres nuestro amparo y guia
Guianos con la llama de
Tu corazon en esta oscuridad

Siempre en las tiempo MA’s
Oscuros vienes a estar
Con thus hijos. Dando tu
Luz brillante y bella.


My spiritual journey began when I was about five or six years old. I remember going to the Morada in Cordova with my mom and grandma every Wednesday and Sunday of Lent and participating in all the ceremonies and rituals of Holy Week. I remember wanting to become an Hermano when I was about six years old, but was told I had to wait till I was eleven. Every year that passed I went faithfully to all the scheduled services at the Morada. I as got older an was able to stay alone at home, there were times that I opted to stay home to watch TV. Really the only time was when the movie “Jesus of Nazareth” came out. Usually the week before Holy Week. And of course the Sundays I was visiting with my dad.

The years before joining the Morada I would try to mimic the Hermanos at home by pretending have processions. I would gather my cousins and line them up like the Hermanos did. I had a small cross I had received one year at catechism. I would try to pray (sing) the alabados the best I knew how. I we would process around my grandma’s living room and kitchen. At that age I really didn’t understand what all this meant, but for some reason it was calling me.

Finally, I turned eleven and Lent was coming to a close in 1989. Easter was about 10 days before my eleventh birthday. My time was missed to join the Morada. Yet I didn’t get discouraged, I knew that next was going to be the year I would join the Hermanos as one of them. I was exited to turn eleven. I remember Her. Ricardo Lopez telling us year after year that we didn’t join the Morada by choice, that we were called by God and Christ to be members of this Hermandad. We were chosen to carry on the traditions of our ancestors forward teach the life of Christ. Yet, at eleven I had no clue what I was doing. I was there from some reason that I could not figure out. All I knew was that becoming a member was for life and full commitment was a must. I have committed to the Morada fully.

2014 marked 25 years of service to my beloved Morada. In those 25 years I have grown to be a many of deep faith and extremely knowledgeable about the faith given to us by our grandfathers and grandmothers. A faith that was rooted in simplicity and humility. In those same 25 years I was elected as celador and hermano mayor of my morada. Both at a very young age, I was in my teens to yearly twenty’s as celador and mid twenty’s as hermano mayor. I was also a member to the Mesa Directiva. This was the board that is in place to unit all the Moradas of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. In my twelve years of service I was the secretario and the hermano mayor secundo. I have about 1000 years of experience that has guided me for the last 25 years in my spirituality. Keep in mind that when first joined the Morada Her. Jorge Lopez and Ricardo Lopez had each been in the Morada over 70 years and both were in their 90’s.

In 2007 I was celebrating my graduation from nursing school from Northern New Mexico College. I had invited co-worker Ana Cisneros to my graduation party, which was on a Friday night. Ana spent a little bit time at my fiesticita and enjoyed some food. Then, she excused herself and on her way out she invited me to the Santuario (de Chimayo) the next day. She told me she and some Aztecs would be dancing. The next day I got up and made my was to the Santuario with camera in hand. I starting shooting a few photos and caught up with Ana. I thanked her for the invitation. Ana then told me that they had been there since the night before praying and singing and today they were dancing and offering there prayers. Ana suggested that I come the following year to the night serve. I told Ana to remind me. The stage was set, my spiritual journey was to take on a new path.

Between 2008 and 2011 I participated in both the velacion and the ceremonia with Ana. In that time I met Jacobo Dimas and his wife Mayahuel Garza and Beatrice and her husband Tomas Vigil. All five of these individuals taught me about the ceremonia and the velacion. Jacobo always made sure that i was able to share an alabado during the night ceremony. This a great honor for me. I was able to represent my ancestors in this sacred ceremony. I was told that the ceremony being observed was in honor of El Senor De Chalma, an image of a dark crucified Christ and the image was in a town in Chalma in Mexico. One of the reasons the group had chosen the Santuario as the site to celebrate this ceremony was to also honor El Senor de Esquilupas, another image of a dark Christ.

By 2011 I had been in a relationship with my girlfriend, Amanda for about three and a half years. 2011 was a bitter sweet year during the time of the Velacion de Nuestro Senor de Chalma. In 2011 Amanda’s mom was getting married that Saturday, we were unable to participate in all of the velacion or the danza. Yet, as faithful as we had become to the velacion we still went to greet our friends and spend a couple of hours with them.

As we were getting ready to leave I had permission to address the group to let them know we had to leave. At that point Jorge Garcia Atilano and his wife Virgina Necochea were about to address the group that their time as padrinos of the cendal has come to an end. They were in the process of choosing the next set of padrinos for the cendal. Being the padrino of the cendal is a three year commitment. As we were getting ready to say our good byes, Jorge stated that after discussions with the elders of the group they were going to ask Amanda and I if we wanted to be the padrinos. I discussed with Amanda and we accepted the honor. ((read story here)).

During this time Amanda and I had a lot of negative energies testing our relationship. Two members of my family were being mean to Amanda and it caused us to fight a lot. The negative energy was strong. I believe that God knows when he needs to add some extra help in peoples lives. The timing of us becoming padrinos of the cendal came at a critical time in our relationship. During those three years we here padrinos,especially in the beginning things were rough. The annual velacion and ceremonia was our saving grace. This was the one time every year we prayed together with the help of our friends. There prayers were our strength. I don’t think they know this, but after reading this they will.

Now its 2014 our commitment has been fulfilled. The negative energy is slowly making its way out our lives. The spiritual powers of the Danza and the Morada have combined in me and helped me be a bit stronger in my faith. In 2013 Amanda, Esperanza, Isabella and I were asked to become Danzantes. We participated in the Danza for the first time as Danzantes not just as members of the community. Jacobo and Mayahuel have been big supporters of us becoming part to this ancient and beautiful tradition. This year we passed on the obligacion of the cendal to David Martinez and Pilar Trujillo. It was a decision that only made sense. The connection between El Senor de Esquipulas and El Senor de Chalma needed to maintained for a least three more years. The bond that was create is now being strengthened.

Amanda and I were given our trajes de la Danza. Amanda got her blouse (not sure the actual name) and I received my tilma. Jacobo stated that he and the Jefa Helga Garza had worked on it. They felt that the symbol on my tilma needed to reflect who i was and were i came from. The symbol they gave was the Sacred Mountain with La Cruz de la Conquista in it’s summit and the Sacred Heart in the Center. Jacobo and Helga stated this represented where i was from, my faith and my commitment to La Cruz de la Conquista. I was deeply humbled by this gift and by the honor of becoming part of an ancient tradition.

In conclusion, my spiritual journey has a new path for me to embark on. I will take to ancient traditions and learn from them the story of my ancestors. I will learn the faith and pass it on to my children and hope they pass it on to their children for generations. Being a Penitente and Danzante are two obligacions that are life commitments. I believe the God has brought this two forms of spirituality in to my life to learn about humility and simplicity in this modern world. What i have learned in 25 years as an Hermano and the last 7 years with and now as a Danzante is the respect is a most, humility is something we need to practice daily and faith will get us through the rough stuff.

Here are some photos of this years Ceremonia.








Photos used with permission by the Danzantes. Always keeping in mind that Danza is a sacred ceremony and a prayer. Please respect the photos by not downloading if you are not a danzante or do not have their permission. Thank you for understanding and respecting this sacred tradition.

National Poetry Month Poem A Day Challenge. The following (or series) of images are prompts for you to create your own poems. Today is #Day 12 Here is (are) today’s image(s). Please share your poem(s) on the comment section or share a link at the same place. Thank you for taking up El Razafotografista’s poetry prompt challenge.

Prompt: You enter the twilight zone and see the the signal on the train track, warped. Tell what happened to the sign.


National Poetry Month Poem A Day Challenge. The following (or series) of images are prompts for you to create your own poems. Today is #Day 11. Here is (are) today’s image(s). Please share your poem(s) on the comment section or share a link at the same place. Thank you for taking up El Razafotografista’s poetry prompt challenge.

Prompt: You find the code to these Mesoamerican hyroglyphs, what do they say?







Four way crossing at Boneyard Road.

Please share your poem on the comments or share a link where you published your poem.


This is a one year anniversary tribute to my Tio Onivas Jose Sandoval, who journeyed to the other world a year ago today. My Tio was one of the humblest of men and had a heart of gold. He would was from the old world. He believed in respect and hard work. He was a man of dignity. He was a man who loved his family and his children with all his heart. My Tio was devoted to La Virgen de Guadalupe, singing her songs in the mornings in the loudest of voices. My Tio was an awesome man.

May you rest in peace, Tio.

Angelo J. Sandoval
(c) 03-24-2014

Its been a year,
Un ano.
Quando el mundo cambio por siempre
Nuestro Tata Dios mando
sus angels to call home
a la eterna Morada
a su hijo querido.
Los Angeles llegaron
con sus trompetas sonando
la musica santa de Dios
cantando las glorias y alegrias del Cielo.

A pasar un ano
la tristeza viene y se van
los recuerdos de tiempos pasados
las alegrias
las tristezas
todos son recuerdos de tu vida

Hace un ano que al cielo
de fuiste
te fuiste a estar con tus padres
hermanos, y tus sobrinos

Hace un ano que a tu
casa celestial te fuiste

Hace un ano que te reuniste
con tu querida, como paso la reunion?
Como fue tu primer visita con mi Tia
al llegar al cielo?

Le ruego al Senor que
tu corazon sea lleno
de alegria al llegar a ver a tu querida
y los demas de la familia

Hace un ano que al cielo te fuiste
este ano que paso
no recordamos du muerte,
pero celebramos los recuerdos de tu vida.

Hace un ano y el mundo
no es lo mismo si tu presencia
Hace un ano, pero no te hemos olvidado.
Hace un ano, y todavia recordamos
tus consejos y cuentos que nos cuentabas.
Hace un ano.

Meet this month’s feature at the Española Poetry Explosion.


Sheri Lopez is a little lady who was born in Albuquerque on August 22, 1985. That makes her 28 for those of you who hate math. She has a little man named Dominic who is pretty much the radest creature on the face of the earth, at least to her. He is almost two and this makes Sheri very nervouse because he can already run faster than her which is forcing her to get into shape to catch him. Mostly because she does not want to be one of those mother who has her child on a leash. But that is neither here, nor there, since this should be about her writing.

She has been writing her whole life, mainly short stories, but poetry is fun for her too. She does this in her free time or at 3 in the morning for some odd reason. Sheri really likes 3am. And in those tiny moments when the world inspires her she takes phrases and hordes them until they become a piece. This also happens to be the first time she has ever been a featured anything and it makes her nervous. But all in all she hopes you all like what she has to offer and she thanks you for coming.

(By the way, Sheri wrote this, but it is hard for her to talk about herself so she chose the third person format. Sheri hopes you do not mind and possibly think it is funny).
With love,




Angelo J. Sandoval
(c) 1-26-2014

I visited sacred ground
a place that holds healing powers
from ancient times
a sacred place where
pilgrims of all corners
of the earth come in search
of healing dirt.

Sacred site to ancient
cultures and peoples of these lands.
I visit this sacred place
to celebrate sacred rituals
remembering miracles of
years pasted,
honoring antepasados
and the faith they left behind.

I approach a place of prayer
to visit La Virgen Morena
in her nicho de pierda.
I see her faithful servant
and her chosen witness,
witness to a great miracle.
Juan Diego, solo en es nichito
La Virgencita, no estaba.

It was said, the image of
La Morenita had been stolen.
The worst of all sins,
made its way to a place of holiness.
The faith of my antepasados has been
offended with such an act of cowardness
There is an emptiness at the nichito
Juan Diego, solo
en busca de su Ninita querida.

Offering prayers,
having esperanza y fe
Que el perdon alcanse
a esa alma que se llevo
a mi Morenita.
Que mi Morenita lo
quide y lo cobije con su manto.

The sacrilege of the world
has entered sacred ground.
Respect for sacred spaces
has begun to crumble
like old adobe walls.
Respect has lost its place
in a world where ancient wisdom
has been shoved in nooks and
crannies of society.

Sacred spaces have lost there value
in a society where money is glorified
above the teachings of our antepasados.
La fe de los antepasados se pierde
un poco cada dia
Ya ni respecto hay pa’ las cosas de Dios.
Los tiempos cambian pero los valores
de la comunidad no soponen de cambiar
con l out s tiempos,
pero a hece fin a llegado este mundo.

Angelo J. Sandoval
(c) 1-20-2014

The drive home,
I witnessed God’s beauty
the sunset over the
Jemez Mountains
from the top of the world,
Las Truchas
pais de mi bis-abuelo
as I drove to the edge of the town
an ancient symbol
standing tall
the brightness of the last
bit of light over the horizon
the silhouette de la cruz
to my left peripheral view.

Recuerdos de tiempos pasados
run through my mind
me recuerdo de los dias
de mis antepasados
las voces de hombres de fe
oigo las tonadas de alabados
se oyen las oracienes cantadas
el llanto del pito
viene y va como el vientecito.

I look at the beauty
of an ancient symbol
on top of the mountain
its silhouette resonates
an ancient history full
of faith and devotion.

The last glimpse of the day’s light
fades behind the mountain
the cross steadfast
with its presence
of an ancient past
which lives strong today
as it did decades ago.

Los antepasados
nos dejaron un simbolo
De fe que traiyan en su corazon.



Feliz Año Nuevo 2014

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

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