Velarde is located on NM-68, in the Rio Grande Rift, right at the point where the road enters the Rio Grande Gorge.
The first postmaster, David Velarde, named the town in honor of his Spanish-born ancestor, Juan Antonio Pérez Velarde, who settled near El Paso del Río del Norte (present Ciudad Juárez, Mexico) in 1725. His move to this Rio Grande settlement encouraged other members of his family to move north into colonial New Mexico in the mid-18th century.
This small chapel sits at the edge of a dirt road, behind a large thatch of trees. We had photographed another, larger church at the edge of town but had not seen this one prior. We were following the path of a rain storm, hoping to catch some lightning shots, when we saw the steeple from the road.