• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

PHOTO REPORT – Faces of the faithful: A journey along Costa Rica’s romería

August 2, 2015

CARTAGO – A 60-year-old man from San Pedro again walks the road towards the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles in Cartago. His white hair partially hidden under a straw hat, the man says he’s taken part in Costa Rica’s annual pilgrimage, known as the romería, at least 20 times to give thanks for what he calls “the miracle of life.”

Somewhere behind him in the moving crowd is a tired-eyed college student who said she’s walking to fulfill a promise to her cancer-stricken mother. She has been trekking the romería three days after leaving from San Carlos in Alajuela with a group of friends.

Others come from even farther to make good on different types of promises, such as Franklin Arturo Garita Quirós, from Paquera, Puntarenas, who was sued by the Environment Ministry in 1986 after he was accused of deforesting his property. He made a promise to the Virgin of Los Ángeles, known as “la negrita,” that if he won the case, he would walk every year to her statue in Cartago, as he’s done for the past 29 years.

These are just three pilgrims among the estimated 2 million who make the journey to the Basílica, each carrying their own reasons to pay respects to the virgin. They’re drawn in by her tiny stone effigy, which is swallowed in an elaborate frame of jewels and gold at the front of the auric-domed church. Once inside the ornate Basílica, many travelers get on their knees and inch their way up to the alter, where the virgin remains protected under a glass case.

In honor of the Day of the Virgin of Los Ángeles on Sunday, The Tico Times has put together the following photo report to chronicle the pilgrims’ unique and extraordinary paths to Cartago.

You may be interested

One year after first case, Costa Rica to broadcast Covid memorial
Costa Rica
1219 views
Costa Rica
1219 views

One year after first case, Costa Rica to broadcast Covid memorial

The Tico Times - March 5, 2021

Costa Rica confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 6, 2020. By the end of the month, the country had…

Stress-related dental problems rising due to COVID: More patients choose Costa Rica dental tourism
Dental Tourism
2710 views
Dental Tourism
2710 views

Stress-related dental problems rising due to COVID: More patients choose Costa Rica dental tourism

James Madigan / Costa Rica Dental Guide - March 5, 2021

According to a recent report by the American Dental Association, the vast majority of dentists indicate that the prevalence of…

Costa Rica an ‘ideal destination’ for digital nomads, Tourism Board says
Costa Rica
6172 views
Costa Rica
6172 views

Costa Rica an ‘ideal destination’ for digital nomads, Tourism Board says

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 5, 2021

A growing number of people have turned to the dream of a "digital nomad" lifestyle -- answering emails from the…