We occasionally see decorated crosses on roadsides around New Mexico with people’s names on them. I finally looked it up and they’re called descansos…an old Hispanic tradition. They’re usually placed at the spot where someone died in a traffic accident. They seem to be getting larger, more expensive, and more ornate.

When on public property, they’re now protected by New Mexico state law:

“House Judiciary Committee amendment 1 to HB 333, broadens the bill to state that a person shall not knowingly or willfully deface or destroy, in whole or in part, a descanso, also known as a memorial, placed alongside a public road right of way to memorialize a death of one or more persons.”

Someone put one up near an entrance to a Taos hotel on a public right of way. The hotel took it down and they sued and had it put back up.

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