Tower erected in historic Chimayo, New Mexico – Residents of Chimayó, including members of the Chimayó Council on Wireless Technology, were surprised by the construction of a T- Mobile wireless tower at a sensitive location both in relation to the health effects caused by the emission of non-ionizing radiation and damage to the value of the historical and scenic ambience of their traditional community. The tower was erected around February 1 and went on online March 24. The T-Mobile tower looms over the Benny Chavez Community Center which houses the Chimayó Senior Center, provides space for many community gatherings, and hosts a playground.. The Chimayó Conservation Youth Corps is housed not far down the road at the Manzano complex. Within a short walking distance of the tower are the Presbyterian Church, El Buen Pastor, and the Interfaith LEAP Center that provides interdenominational health and social services.
Chimayó’s citizens are proud of their history and unique natural setting with its special historical and cultural features. The tower degrades the beauty of the cerros that cradle the Chimayó valley to the east and the historical value of the nearby Plaza del Cerro, the only complete fortified colonial Spanish plaza still remaining in northern New Mexico. The Chimayó History Museum is housed in the Plaza. The Ortega Weaving Shop, where local weavers have sold their craft for generations, is even closer to the tower. And one views the structure as one approaches the sacred pilgrimage Santuario church, both from the western and southern routes.
Chimayó residents and their representative organizations were not adequately consulted by the T-Mobile company when plans were afoot to construct this tower. Alarmed by the tower and plans for additional towers, local citizens want the tower removed.