Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Patron Saint of Costa: La Negrita

Roberta and I were driving back from seeing a movie last night and came across a huge traffic jam heading towards the San Pedro mall. We took some side streets and were confronted with huge masses of people walking down the road that goes from San Joes to Tres Rios. Thousands of people happily strolling east. Then we remembered that there was a large religious procession heading to Cartago. This was a constant stream of people about five wide for as far as we could see. Like salmon up a stream.

According to legend, on the morning of August 2, 1635, a young girl named Juana Pereira was out collecting wood to cook when she found the figure of the La Negrita on a rock that was the source of a water spring. Pereira took the figure home, but the next day the figure had disappeared and was again found on the rock.

Photo from

Therefore, now over one million people walk from wherever they are in CR to the big church in Cartago and get there on the morning of August 2nd. Seeing as how there are only about 4 million people in Costa Rica that is a good chunk.

More info on La Negrita

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