We enjoyed the great fortune of talking with the Mission Priest. I think the priest might have come in 1945. This priest has planted many trees and is responsible for the growth of El Santuario de Chimayo.
In the event that this is your first visit El Santuario de Chimayo is regarded a a holy church for performing miracles. For believers, there is a "Dirt Room," and a scoop of this dirt is claimed to be responsible for many miracles involving physical problems. So bring a container.