Community members added their own memorabilia to artist Jacqueline Zazueta's handmade alter.
Wow! We had an amazing Community Day on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Based on the number of tamales consumed (all of them!) and a rough headcount, we estimate that 200-250 people made the journey to Ruidosa Church this weekend. It was a heartfelt, diverse gathering filled with both fun and sacred moments.
A huge thank you to the incredibly talented artists, musicians and dancers who brought us all together: Miguel Valverde, Jacqueline Zazueta, the Matachines de Santa Teresa, Sweetheart of the Radio and The Roswells.
Thanks also to our sponsors: H-E-B, TransPecos Bank, Big Bend Banks and Cactus Liquors. A special shoutout to Lonnie Rodriguez for keeping us fed with his legendary open-fire cooking and The Bean in Presidio for providing us rice and beans at cost.
A huge thank you to Marfa Public Radio for helping us document memories of Ruidosa.
And a big thank you to all of YOU who came way, way out to be part of the day at Ruidosa Church.
Click here for photos from the gathering.
Mark your calendars! Friends of the Ruidosa Church is excited to announce our second annual Community Day on Saturday, November 5 from 2-7PM. This year the church will feature artists and performers from both sides of the border. We are honored to present:
- An opening dance performance by Matachines de Santa Teresa from Presidio, Texas (2PM)
- An adobe community altar by Jacquelin Zazueta from Marfa, Texas @help.ima.rock
- Afternoon DJ set by Cariño of the Radio / Jacqueline Del Olmo, from Marfa, Texas
- Latido de Luce, an illuminated installation by Miguel Valverde from Chihuahua, Mexico @miguelvalverde
We will also have free food and drinks in the afternoon, along with a special lighting ceremony at dusk / 6PM. For all who came last year, you know it was a rare celebration in a remote location. Visitors came from all over to celebrate both the church and the families historically connected to Ruidosa.
The theme of this year is “el sagrado corazón,” a nod to the original name of the church as well as a motif that naturally emerged across our artists this year.
Thanks to H‑E‑B, Big Bend Bank, TransPecos Bank and Cactus Liquors for sponsoring this event. Thanks also to @naomibensen for contributing the beautiful heart collage featured in this year’s poster. ✨
We are hoping to once again record oral histories from anyone who has a memory or historical connection to Ruidosa. If you’d like, please also bring meaningful objects, candles or photos to contribute to our community altar.
About the project:
Ruidosa Church is a striking, historic adobe structure that sits along one of the most remote stretches of the border between Far West Texas and Mexico. Its adobe brick arches–widely thought to be the largest in the state of Texas–frame a view of the Rio Grande riparian zone running through the Chihuahuan Desert. For most of the year, the border hamlet of Ruidosa is quiet. Only a handful of inhabitants now live in the area after the Rio Grande was diverted in the 1950s. When the water left, so did the families whose descendants are now scattered across Texas and beyond.
Friends of the Ruidosa Church, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring and preserving this far flung sacred space, was given the deed to the Catholic Church after a papal appeal in Rome in 2018. Beyond a faithful historic restoration, the nonprofit is also focused on restoring the church’s status as an active cultural space–despite (but also because of) its remoteness. To that end, the organization invited the public to the first Ruidosa Church Community Day in 2021, which featured a large-scale textile installation within the rafters of the nave, a local mariachi band and 500 tamales. Over 150 people made the journey to Ruidosa for the event, some from half a day’s drive away. An estimated half of the visitors had family heritage connected to Ruidosa and many contributed to oral history with memories of the church and border life.