|Dia de La Virgin de Los Angeles|
Legend proclaims that a young indigenous girl, Juanita Pereira, found the statue of the "Black Virgin" on Aug. 2, 1635, while gathering wood in the forest outside the city, which at the time was racially segregated. The young girl carried the unique
|Replica of the Famous Statue|
Today, this small statue rests on a golden and bejeweled platform above the altar at the Basílica Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles in Cartago, some 14 miles east of San José, which was purposely built around the rock where the small figure first appeared.
|Millions on the Annual Trek to Cartago|
The many "Ticos" from all over the country that spend days and even weeks to make their way to the Basilica, upon arriving will climb the steps of the church on their
|On bended Knee, some with Crosses|
An example of how popular this yearly event is, in 2003, 1.5 million people descended upon the city of Cartago for the dedication to "La Negrita". At that time that number represented close to 40 percent of Costa Rica's entire population!
What was once 1.5 million people, has grown over the years to attract some 2.5 million pilgrims, so with the passing of time, this yearly trek has not lost its following. In response to the incredible amounts of garbage generated by such a large number of
|EARTH University going Eco!|
The Lumaca bus company has also committed some 270 buses to provide transportation from San José to the Basilica Church so visitors can enjoy the outdoor mass on August 2nd.
The Basilica was built in 1639 and was later partially destroyed by an earthquake. The restored Basilica offers an impressive mix of colonial architecture combined with 19th century Byzantine style and is consecrated to the Virgin of Señora de los Ángeles, it truly is an impressive church.
If you would like to see inside the Basilica on a normal day, just watch below:
Everyone is welcome to participate in the Romeria in Costa Rica. It is an excellent way to get to know the culture and the "Pura Vida" people of this country. The City of
|The Adorned Virgin of Los Angeles|
|Don't forget the Holy Water!|
Feel free to report back to me if the holy water does in fact cure your sickness, physical or mental health......as it never hurts to have a firsthand account that is was worth the long arduous trek! Pura vida!
To see how the Costa Ricans celebrate this holiday and decide if you would like to participate too, check out the following video:
Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Hotel Makanda by the Sea.