Costa Rica News – It’s almost August and on the 2nd, many Costa Ricans will be celebrating Virgen de los Angeles Day, a national holiday which, according to tradition, is to commemorate the miraculous, mysterious reappearance of a statue of La Negrita, the Black Virgin Mary.
The tale has it that in 1635 the statue kept reappearing where she was originally found, although people tried to take her with them. Then, in 1824, this virgin was declared the patron saint of Costa Rica.
The statue is now housed in a church in Cartago, Nuestra Señora de los Angeles Basilica. Each year, thousands of religious pilgrims flock to this church to honor the virgin. They walk from as far away as Nicaragua. The busiest days are the weekend before August 2.
The director of the traffic police said that they will start operating a special traffic procedure to protect the droves of pilgrims starting on July 25th. 300 traffic officers will be involved, over various shifts.
The key crossroads they will be stationed at include La Galera and the Walmart in Curridabat. Trucks with potentially hazardous materials as well as other heavy vehicles will be rerouted away from the main roads.
Three blocks around the church will be completely closed. Be aware and leave extra time to travel in the area and note the increased regulations and fines for this holiday weekend.