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Throughout the year the Brothers would care for the sick and needy, as well as help families bury their dead. These practices continue today. We help the people.

Purgatoire on Elm, Trinidad

We help those that need help. We never say no. The religious beliefs and history of the Penitente Brotherhood in the region brought art and music that both complemented and mirrored the hauntingly beautiful southwestern landscape. Known as santos , the holy images depict Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. Santos include retablos, images painted on hand-worked panels of pine or metal, and bultos , statues carved out of cottonwood root.

Eschatologie catholique 22 — Les six degrés du purgatoire

The art of the santos flowered during the s when santeros , or saint-makers, traveled across New Mexico and Colorado to create holy images for the villages. Today, examples of these santos can be seen in the A. Mitchell Museum of Western Art in Trinidad. Trinidad, now the largest city and seat of Las Animas County , was the most significant of all the early Hispano settlements along the Purgatoire.

After stopping in the area again on the way back, Baca decided to make his home there. In the company of a few Anglo settlers, the Hispano families built plazas surrounded by thick walls of adobe—sand mixed with straw and water and dried in the sun—as a defense against Ute Indians, who had lived in the valley for centuries and objected to Hispano encroachment. Hispano settlers continued to come, however, and both sides of the river were soon populated with settlements.

Though the daily lives of the settlers presented them with a consistently heavy work load, they found time for religious celebrations, fiestas, and horse racing. By Trinidad had its first general store, school, and Catholic church, all made possible by personal efforts and land donations from Baca.

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Baca himself served as president of the Trinidad school board from — In the spring of , as Baca built up Trinidad some fourteen miles downriver, Hilario Madrid stood on a grassy bench overlooking the Purgatoire valley and the hills beyond. It was there that he decided to build a placita, a single-family compound built of adobe. The placita included an L-shaped main building with walls twenty-one inches thick and a sod storage room.

Across a patio stood cattle sheds and a shelter for domestic animals. Nearby was the horno, a beehive-shaped oven used to bake bread, cook meat, and dry corn.

eBird Checklist - 5 May - Purgatoire River W of Alejandro Canyon - 36 species (+3 other taxa)

Although both groups helped settle the area together, tension developed between Anglos and Hispanos in the Purgatoire valley. This tension occasionally boiled over into violence, as it did on Christmas Day, , after an Anglo man was jailed for shooting a Hispano man. Eventually, US troops were sent in to help diffuse the standoff, which lasted into the early days of However, when local governments, organizations, private landowners, corporations and other entities work together the devastation can be stopped and damage reversed.

Currently, the coordinator is funded for three years. She can be reached at ssimmons RiversEdgeWest. Las Animas County takes a very proactive approach to weed management, working to control noxious weeds on County right-of-ways and other high priority areas. Many other partners actively support the PWWMC and are making significant contributions to the effort.

Why is Protecting the Purgatoire Watershed so Important? The Purgatoire Watershed is one of the most ecologically intact watersheds in the State of Colorado. It boasts amazingly intact native riparian vegetation and extraordinary biological diversity, all while supporting vibrant communities and robust agricultural production. However, several non-native invasive plant species have been encroaching into the watershed over the past fifty years.

Hispano Settlement in the Purgatoire Valley

Invasive plants of highest concern within the watershed include woody invasive plant species, tamarisk and Russian-olive, prevalent in riparian areas rivers and streams ; African rue, which invades rangeland and more xeric dry waterways; Russian knapweed, which has exploded in several irrigated farming areas; Scotch, Canada and musk thistles, and hoary cress, which are especially prevalent in ditches, roadways, and highly disturbed areas. Currently, the infestation of most of these invasive plants is manageable within the watershed. Controlling them will cost substantially less now than in the future, and will generally not require extensive revegetation efforts.

The growing interest and continued support for management of non-native invasive plant species within the watershed and local communities have provided a timely opportunity to proactively deal with the problem within one of the most significant natural drainages in eastern Colorado, yielding the most impact dollar for dollar.

This goal will be achieved through controlling non-native invasive plant species; improving native vegetative cover and thus native wildlife habitat; increasing public awareness and support of watershed health; and ensuring long-term watershed protection by establishing the PWWMC as a permanent financially self-sustaining organization.

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Desired outcomes include improvement of water resources; re-establishment of native vegetation where it has been degraded by invasive plant species; improvement of habitat for native wildlife; protection of communities from wildfire and flooding; enhancement of agricultural production; and enhancement of hunting and other recreational access and opportunities. PWP is taking a phased approach to implementing the plan by first focusing on goals 4 and 5 mitigating invasive plants and riparian habitat improvement.

Implementation of these watershed plan goals will also overlap with other goals, such as healthy forests and rangeland. The plan is based on a set of guiding principles that focus on ecological, social-cultural, economic, and research considerations. Las Animas County is very active with noxious weed control, focusing mainly on County right-of-ways.

Partners plan to update the County weed plan in the near future.

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