I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pilgrimage to Cartago - August 1 & 2, 2012

Today is the big day for a flood of pilgrim hikers
Dia de Virgin de los Angeles - the Patron saint of Costa Rica.

Enhanced from article in AMCostaRica.com

Today (Wednesday - August 1, 2012) is the big day for "pilgrims" (walkers) on their way to Cartago from all points of the country. They will fill the highways (note traffic along these roads most likely will be slower/backed up - ESPECIALLY later in the day), and emergency and police are working overtime to insure their safety.

Some pilgrims or romeros, as they are called, have been walking for several days to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles

The small, black statue there is called la Negrita, and it is the Costa Rican manifestation of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ in Christian theology.

Most of the hikers are doing so as thanks for favors granted or with personal petitions they hope the Virgin Mary will present to God, the Father.

Each year some 2 million persons make the trek but not all on the same day. Hikers have been heading for the basilica for two weeks.

The high point is a Roman Catholic Mass Thursday morning - August 2, and politicians of every stripe will be there. 

Ministerio de OLbras Públicas 
y Transportes photo
This is the goal of the pilgrims, the basilica.

The day - AUGUST 2 - is a LEGAL HOLIDAY (so banks, government departments and some businesses will be closed [I'd imagine many of them are owned by people going on the hike themselves).

Fire fighters are active, too. A provision fire station has been set up in Oreamuno west of Cartago. And there is a small, temporary fire facility immediately behind the basilica, the Cuerpo de Bomberos said. Fire stations in Tres Ríos and Cartago have been reinforced.

The Policía de Tránsito, the Fuerza Pública, judicial police and anti-drug agents are all on the job along the main roads leading to Cartago. There even are aircraft keeping an eye on the hikers during the day. The Cruz Roja has set up aid stations for the weary and the ill.

Heavy trucks and those with dangerous cargos are prohibited along the routes. Traffic has been blocked for 3 blocks around the basilica and many routes have been restricted to vehicular traffic.

The basilica plaza there will be the scene of an all-night religious and social gathering tonight through Thursday morning.

WHAT IS Dia de Virgin de los Angeles

IS THIS A LEGAL PAID HOLIDAY? Facebook.com/note.php?note_id=429773040398930
It's a "Holiday with Non-Obligatory Pay"  -  The employee, if they work, gets regular pay, BUT can opt to NOT work (and NOT get paid) and take the day off at the EMPLOYEES wish, NOT that of the employer.  (THANX Ali for sharin' this!)


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