El Morro
National Monument

National Park Service

“Stand here in this space, and you are connected to the arc of
the Southwest’s history...the human story of the shaping of
this land. Future generations will not see this generation’s
names carved into Inscription Rock - but they will know that we
too were here...working to preserve the heritage of El Morro."

Paso Por Aquí

l Morro National Monument, located on an ancient east-west trail in western New Mexico, is a great sandstone promontory with a reliable waterhole hidden at its base. The Zuni Indians, whose Puebloan ancestors lived there, referred to it as Atsinna, “place of writings on the rock.” The Spaniards called it El Morro, “the Headland,” while Anglo-Americans called it Inscription Rock. Over the centuries those who traveled the ancient trail stopped to camp at the shaded oasis under the cliffs, leaving carved evidence of their passage: symbols, names, dates... and fragments of their stories.

For the production of Paso Por Aqui (Passed by Here), our team worked in high altitude conditions, capturing the changing light and look of El Morro through the seasons. Heavy production equipment had to be carried up a steep bluff and switchback trails. The creative challenge was to take the inscriptions — the stories on the rock — and to bring them to life. The project also documents the restoration work on the ancient pueblo, as well as repair work on trails cut by the Civilian Works Administration. El Morro National Monument is a spectacular place, where history resonates in the rock.

Great care was taken to have zero impact on the fragile cryptobiotic soil of the park. As part of our commitment to the environment of EL Morro, we went beyond the required work to produce a short video to instruct visitors to avoid damaging the fragile cryptobiotic soil.

Paso Por Aqui is narrated by the acclaimed EMMY and Golden Globe award-winning actor, Edward James Olmos.


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