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The Pilgrimage to Cartago

July 31st, 2007

La BasilicaI admire people with faith such as these Romeros… the word used to describe those pilgrims who come from as far away as Mexico, on foot, to petition “La Negrita”, or the Virgen de Los Angeles, for a favor or to give thanks for favors received. Some travel barefoot, others on horseback (see video). Many will be on their knees for the final trip down the aisle as they approach the alter. Regardless, many travel for days and days and eschew autombiles, motorcycles or any other convenience. They take this very seriously, and some leg or foot pain is a small price to pay for honoring their Virgin.

Most major highways here, especially the Pan American Highway and local roads in and around Tres Rios are filled now with the pilgrims, many wanting to arrive early. The traditional date is August 2nd.

Tomorrow, the main highway to Cartago (which is also the Pan American Highway and major route to points South), will be closed entirely.

Highways here have few rules and pedestrians, bicycles, and other slow traffic is common. Now, they are joined by romeros on horseback. Here is a video a some who were passing nearby my home just this morning.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4689479744342476913
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