You have permission to edit this article.

2020: The year in photos

  • Updated
  • 3
  • 4 min to read
2020: The year in photos

A look back at some of the top images from 2020, as captured by The New Mexican’s staff photojournalists and freelancers.



Justin Ruelas of Santa Fe plays Monday, Jan. 27, with his son Jay Russell Ruelas, 3, while wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center. Justin Ruelas has been a fan of Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, since he was in the second grade.

Rio Rancho Memorial_Jp2.JPG

Leah Gustafson, 15, from left, and Alejandra Juarez, 15, attend a memorial for the Velasquez family Sunday, Jan. 5, at King Meadows Park in Rio Rancho. Four members of the Velasquez family died Christmas Day. All had gunshot wounds and police believe three of the deaths were murders, followed by a suicide. 


Moriarty High School varsity basketball team members hold roses to give to the parents of Pedro and Mateo Sandoval, student-athletes who died the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 14, in a head-on crash as they headed to the school for an early morning workout.


Santa Fe High basketball player Fedonta ‘JB’ White low-fives Kearny Elementary students on Wednesday, Jan. 29. During his visit, White talked about his love of the game and the importance of hard work. He also demonstrated his basketball skills.


A coyote roams near Columbia and Galisteo streets after a snowstorm. 


Matthew LM Manning, left, and Colton Thompson of Madrid carry guns Friday, Jan. 31, while protesting with other gun rights activists at an NRA-sponsored rally outside the Capitol in protest of Senate Bill 5.



Michael Austin and Lisa Smith dance to the sounds of Partizani Brass Band on Tuesday at Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery during a Mardi Gras celebration.


Ranchers discuss their plans Monday, Feb. 10, for committee meetings at the Capitol.


The Rev. Joseph Karikunnel, left, holds ashes used during the Ash Wednesday Mass at Cristo Rey Catholic Church.


Empty Pit

Workers clean up The Pit after the conclusion of games on Wednesday, March 11, at the state basketball tournament. Fans were not allowed to attend games the remainder of the tournament as a safety precaution due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic.


An emptier than usual view of the San Francisco Street at the St. Francis Cathedral in downtown Santa Fe Plaza on Friday, March 20. Many shops and restaurants downtown closed following an emergency public health order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, March 19. 


Katherine Shoulla, 14, helps her mom, Robin Carrillo Ortiz, make handmade face masks to distribute amid a shortage of medical supplies.


Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham uses a visual aid that shows the spread of COVID-19 when varying levels of control measures are enacted, during a news conference Monday, March 23, at the Capitol.


Health care workers at Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center’s COVID-19 drive-up testing site check equipment before beginning testing earlier on Friday, March 27.



Patrica Wagner, owner of Castro Alterations, sews face masks Wednesday, April 8. The business was given an exception by the governor to stay open as long as it makes only face masks.


Diane Rowe, owner of Papas Pawn & Gun, high-fives Grants Mayor Martin Hicks outside her business Monday, April 27. Hicks {span}welcomed the opening of Grants businesses in defiance of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order.{/span}


Fidel Gonzalez, a farmer and owner of Los Jardines de Moktezuma and co-founder of Agri-Cultura Network, walks around a greenhouse on Friday, April 10. The New Mexico chapter of the American Friends Service Committee launched the Farm to Foodbank initiative to provide farmers like Gonzalez monetary assistance and supplies needed to continue production this season in exchange for fresh, organic produce that can be donated to food pantries and depots across the state. "I feel good that we're helping a humungous need," he said. 


John Moore and his daughter Melissa Moore of Gallup walk along Juan Medina Road on their way to Chimayó on Thursday, April 9. With this year’s pilgrimage to Chimayó called off and El Santuario de Chimayó shuttered due to the coronavirus, there were very few walkers along the route on Holy Thursday.


Left: Joelle “JoJo” Mangual watches his birthday parade Thursday, April 23, along with Clay Burton, center, a special needs life skills teacher at Piñon Elementary, and Burton’s wife Patricia, a teacher at Aspen Community School. Family, schoolmates, teachers, squad cars from the Santa Fe Police Department and a horse from the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding formed a parade to help Mangual, a sixth-grader at Piñon Elementary, celebrate his 12th birthday. 



Dez Ruth, a groomer at Zoomies Dog Daycare and Resort, clips Umi on Friday, May 1. 


The Rev. Brad Bennett helps direct traffic at St. John’s United Methodist Church's drive-thru pantry on Tuesday, May 5. Bennett said the pantry provided food for nearly 300 vehicles — an equivalent of about 1,300 people — on recent Tuesdays.


Maximiño Manzanares Shay, 19, holds family photos to the window for his 87-year-old grandma Fidelia 'Ellie' Manzanares during a weekly visit Friday, May 8.

SFHS Graduation Merge

Left: Santa Fe High School graduates drive along Yucca Street on Wednesday, May 20, during a parade as they are cheered on by friends and family. Right: Alyssa Baca holds her young friend, 6-year-old Emberlynn Archuleta, who plays with her tassel, while her twin brother Eric sits on the back of their dad's 1929 Ford Roadster prior to the graduation parade.


Jesús Orona Arce, left, and his younger brother, Juan Carlos, catch frogs in the wetlands near La Cieneguilla on Thursday, May 7, after a day of distance learning.



Protesters lie on their stomachs Wednesday, June 3, in front of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to protest police violence.


Protesters gather Wednesday, June 3, in front of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.


Thantsideh, Sun Bird in the Tewa language, 19, of Ohkay Owingeh, dances where the statue of Don Juan de Oñate used to sit in front of the Oñate Monument Center in Ohkay Owingeh on Monday, June 15.


Baljit Singh, owner of India Palace, stands in the restaurant looking at the damage and hate speech written on doors and walls on Tuesday, June 23. The racist attack by unknown vandals caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.


Ralph Martinez holds his 5-year-old daughter, Ava, in front of his home in Española on Wednesday, June 17. In the early 2000s, Martinez battled drug addiction and eventually became homeless. Sober for eight years, he now works at Los Alamos National Laboratory in management support and recently founded Española’s first homeless shelter. Ava, he says, is his first child who only knows him as 'the man I am today.' 


Tigre Bailando of Wise Fool holds a marionette made by Three Sisters Collective during a protest against controversial monuments across Santa Fe on Thursday, June 18. The letters stand for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit — meaning those who identify as woman and man or gender nonbinary.


Workers fit harnesses around a statue of Don Diego de Vargas on Thursday, June 18, during the statue’s removal from Cathedral Park.



From left, sisters Kassie Martinez, 9; Kendall Martinez, 7; Kaiden Martinez, 10; and their friend Aniyah Sandoval, 8, run and play together in front of the drive-in screen before a double feature on Friday, July 3.


Talia Felix wears a bauta mask as she walks along Canyon Road on Wednesday, July 15. Bauta masks, which are often stark white and made to comfortably cover the entire face, became popular in Italy in the 18th century. They were worn during the annual Carnival of Venice and also were a standardized society mask meant to conceal a person’s identity. Felix said she purchased the mask soon after learning of the state’s face-covering mandate.


Loretta Sandoval of Dixon walks through a cornfield at her farm Wednesday, July 15. Sandoval said the corn is supposed to already be about 5 feet tall but suspected something in the water was hurting the crop.



From left, Chris McKnight, 20; Angel Gonzales, 17; Emily Lopez, 18; and Ashley Martinez, 19, attend a vigil for their friend, Fedonta ‘JB’ White, on Sunday, Aug. 2, on the Plaza. White died of a gunshot wound in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 1.


A historic bathhouse at the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa was destroyed in a fire Thursday, Aug. 6. The historic bathhouse had been built in the 1800s by a territorial representative to Congress.


Julia Begay gets water from a newly installed water tank outside her home on the Navajo Nation on Thursday, August 13. The tank was installed by the nonprofit Navajo Water Project.

Yoga in the clouds

Belinda Jentzen of the Genoveva Chavez Community Center teaches a yoga class Monday, Aug. 17, at Alto Park. The Chavez Center painted the clouds in the park in collaboration with Falling Colors to keep people socially distant. The clouds each have a 6-foot radius. People can check at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center website,, for times. Otherwise, the city encourages people to use the clouds on their own.


A Navajo Region Helitack helicopter takes off Friday, Aug. 28, from Nambe Pueblo with an aerial ignition device to battle the Medio Fire. Caused by lightning on Aug. 17, the fire burned 4,010 acres in Santa Fe National Forest before being fully contained in mid-September. 

082220_ DaughterMomCovid001-rgb.jpg

Dena Ducane watches her mother, Rhoda Dobrovich, give her baby doll a kiss Thursday, Aug. 21. Dena took in her 78-year-old mother in June as COVID-19 restrictions made it more difficult to see her mother in an assisted living facility.


Former Los Alamos Monitor employees DyAnne Short and Marvin Katko look at a copy of the paper’s final edition Friday, Aug. 28, after it came off the press. Short did paste-up for the paper from 1970-72 and was a copy editor from 1996 to 2000. Katko worked for 22 years as a pressman and darkroom technician.


Farmer Glen Duggins’ shadow extends across the ditch near one of three groundwater pumps he uses to irrigate his fields in Lemitar. A severe, prolonged drought has reduced the Rio Grande's flows to the lowest levels in decades, affecting cities' drinking water supplies and causing farmers to adjust how they irrigate crops. ‘Even if you have pumps, the cost of running them is very expensive,’ he says. ‘It’s a Band-Aid. It’s all it’s meant to be. We need the river water.’



Evelyn Rivera, first grade teacher at Santo Niño Regional Catholic School, works with Leila Quintana, 6, in the classroom Tuesday, Sept. 1. Santo Niño was {span}one of only a handful of schools in Santa Fe to start the 2020-21 school year with in-person instruction, adhering to guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.{/span}


Two people wearing masks sit down Thursday, Sept. 3, to eat lunch surrounded by taped-off booths at the Frontier restaurant in Albuquerque, a popular spot for University of New Mexico students and faculty.


Fire dancer Helene Luna looks up at 2020’s Zozobra, reflected in her sunglasses, while practicing for the 96th annual burning, which took place Friday, Sept. 4.


The caisson carrying National Guard Lt. Gen. Ed Baca arrives Monday, Sept. 21, at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Baca, a native Santa Fean who led the New Mexico National Guard from 1983 to 1998, died Sept. 15 at his home in Albuquerque following a long battle with leukemia. He was 82. President Bill Clinton named Baca chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau in 1998, making him the first Hispanic to have that position. He was credited with helping modernize the New Mexico Guard.



‘As much as we want to hold signs, we’re still chained to the racist monoliths that hold us back,’ said one of the unidentified men who chained themselves to the Plaza obelisk Saturday, Oct. 10.


Activists who occupied the Santa Fe Plaza for Indigenous Peoples Day pulled down the obelisk, a controversial war monument that dated to 1866 MISSING DATE


Cindy Benavidez, an elections judge, helps Santa Fe resident Joshua Dennis, accompanied by son Aleksander, 10 months, cast his ballot Friday, Oct. 9, at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.


From left, Sister Mary Gianna, Sister Anthony and Sister Magdalena from the Sisters of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ pray during Mass on Sunday, Oct. 25, at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church.


Sharing some Halloween fun, Ortiz Middle School teacher Carolyn Salazar offers her students a fright Friday, Oct. 30, from a makeshift classroom she created in her family’s garage. Salazar is a sixth grade English language arts teacher.



The Loretto Chapel spire during sunset on Wednesday, Nov. 4.


Curtis Valdez chants “Trump 2020 let’s go” into a megaphone Tuesday, Nov. 3, as he stands at the intersection of St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road. 


Leo Jaramillo throws his hands into the air Tuesday, Nov. 3, as Roger Montoya, his friends and colleagues finish singing 'Las Mañanitas' after surprising him for his birthday. Jaramillo, a Democrat running for Senate District 5, was awaiting results for his race alongside Montoya. Both won their respective races. 


Claudia Diaz sprays disinfectant as she cleans the House chamber at the Roundhouse on Friday, Nov. 20, in anticipation for a special legislative session addressing pandemic relief. 


A man stops his Volkswagen to take a photo of the Plaza following the annual lighting Friday, Nov. 27. 



Ramon Sena and his wife, Laura Sena, of Santa Fe take their kids, Azula Sena, 6, and Zuko Sena, 4, sledding at Hyde Memorial State Park on Wednesday, Dec. 2.


Dana Morgan, McKayla Hicks and Bre Slaughter provide support and comfort for one another at the nurses station at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center’s COVID-19 ward.


Polly, a COVID-19 patient, is visited by Bre Slaughter and Dana Morgan, after returning to the Frost 19 unit to receive additional care.


Dominick Armijo, a nurse manager for Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center’s Frost 19 unit, receives the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Dec. 14, from registered nurse Jeremy Willard. Armijo was among the first five front-line workers to receive the vaccine at Christus St. Vincent.

(3) comments

Kathy Fish

So moving - thanks for curating!

Ann Maes

The good, the bad, and the beautiful. What a year it was! And now we hold hope for the future.

James Morris

A wonderful collection of photos. Thank you!

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

Special Offers & Promotions