PHOTOS: Thousands walk to Cartago to visit ‘La Negrita’
Every year, an estimated two million people from across Central America leave their homes and walk to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles in Cartago, east of the capital, to pay their respects to Costa Rica’s patron saint, known locally as “La Negrita.”
The tradition is based on the 17th century legend of La Negrita, in which an indigenous woman discovered a small statue in the forest of a dark-skinned woman carrying a baby in her arms. The woman took the statue to her home, but something unusual happened: the next day, the statue was gone.
The indigenous woman again found the statue in the middle of the woods, in the same spot as before. She again took it home, and by the next day, it had vanished again, only to reappear in the same spot in the woods. The woman decided to tell the town’s priest, and after witnessing the phenomenon, he declared it a message from the Virgin Mary. The priest said villagers should build a church on the spot where the statue appeared.
Four centuries later, the Basilica in Cartago is said to sit on that spot. “La Romería de la Virgen de los Ángeles,” the annual pilgrimage to Cartago, continues to attract faithful Catholics who come to see the statue of “La Negrita” and ask for blessings, favors or forgiveness.
You may be interested
Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitorsAlejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020
Costa Rica will open its doors to the arrival of tourists from Mexico, after considering a drop in reported Covid-19…
Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020
Since September 1, Costa Rica has welcomed tourists from a growing number of U.S. states. According to Gustavo Segura, Costa…
Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25Alejandro Zúñiga - September 25, 2020
Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 812, according to official data…