El Molino
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Making Chimayo Red Chile Powder


Mr. Ernesto and Luggie Griego run a Northern New Mexico Molino (chile grinder) out of a barn located in their backyard.  They started their Molino operation in 1954.  


Mr. Griego, is 83 years old, a World War II veteran.  He served as a loyal patriot in the army; stationed in Western Europe, 1942.  After returning from military service, Mr. Griego became a Zia teamster driver for 12 years.  He said he started his Molino so that he could stay at home with his family and do some farming.  He likes the peaceful life living off the land. 


The Chimayo Chile Project uses Mr. Griego's Molino.  This past harvest, Mr. Griego showed us the pacemaker placed over his heart.  Due to age, Ernesto does not grind much chile these days, and we thank him for grinding our crop. 


It is an honor and a privilege to work with the elders who hold the history, culture and faith so dear to Northern New Mexico's way of life.                



The Molino is run by a tractor located outside the adobe barn.

The chile goes from the paper bags into the front end.

The grinder pushes the chile up and then it falls down through the cloth bag.

Ernesto Griego using his chile scale.

Once everything is set, the tractor keeps everything going.

Antonio Medina and Ernesto Griego grinding chile

The bag guides the chile into the bucket.

"If we can just humble ourselves for a moment, stop and learn Native Hispanic history from the beauty of an ordinary life, we can come closer to understanding who we are as a nation of people. "

Marie Campos

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