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El Rincon de Don Bernardo Abeyta Welcome Center

El Rincon de Don Bernardo Abeyta Welcome Center is a free museum and welcome center which provides narratives into the history of el Santuario and the history of both El Santuario and the Catholic Church in northern New Mexico. One of the most important aspects of that history is the role of the "penitentes" in maintaining the faith and keeping the Hispanic religious traditions alive.

There are also several important exhibits of artwork. One is the exhibit of antique and contemporary "santero" art which is on permanent display in the Welcome Center. Another is a large mural depicting the discovery of the wooden cross of Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas by Don Bernardo Abeyta in 1810 which led to the creation of El Santuario. This mural was done by the well-known contemporary painter, Ron Rundo.

Perhaps the most important artwork at the Welcome Center is the fourteen bronze statues depicting the Stations of the Cross done by the famous scupturer, Gib Singleton. These bronze works are smaller versions of the life-size Stations of the Cross on display in the sculpture garden of the Catherdral Basilica of San Francisco de Asis in Santa Fe.

Another attraction at the Welcome Center is the "prayer tree" where visitors can leave notes, prayers, and blessings. There is also a gift shop where visitors can buy artwork and mementos.

The Welcome Center has the same hours as El Santuario; daily from 9:00 A. M. to 5:00 P.M. during the winter (October through April) and 9:00 A. M. to 6:00 P.M. during the summer.

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