Mexico, 20,000 Women, 17 Days, 270 Miles – The Pilgrimage To See The Lady Of Guadalupe

Some women carry their babies in strollers and others in their arms.

 

Humanitarian and Travel Photographer Francisco Alcala Torreslanda is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘Pilgrimage‘.  To see Francisco’s body of work click on any image.

 

Celebration of Mass and Holy Hour in Cuautitlan State of Mexico.

Celebration of Mass and Holy Hour in Cuautitlan State of Mexico.

 

A time for reconciliation during the Holly Mass near Polotitlan State of Mexico.

A time for reconciliation during the Holly Mass near Polotitlan State of Mexico.

 

Group Guadalupano de la Sierra in day 4 of their 17 day pilgrimage walking from Landa de Matamoros to Ahuacatlan.

Group Guadalupano de la Sierra in day 4 of their 17 day pilgrimage walking from Landa de Matamoros to Ahuacatlan.

 

For Her Sake – Women’s Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe

During the last 57 years, women from the State of Queretaro Mexico have walked every year from their communities to the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe. The Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church built near the hill of Tepeyac where the Lady of Guadalupe is believed to have appeared to Juan Diego in the early 16th century. The Basilica houses the original cloak, which holds the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Approximately 20 million people visit the Sanctuary every year, which makes it one of the most important and frequented Christian Sanctuaries in the World.

 

At 5:00AM people giving free coffee or tea to the pilgrims as a sign of solidarity.

At 5:00AM people giving free coffee or tea to the pilgrims as a sign of solidarity.

 

Custody of the Blessed Sacrament leading the pilgrimage at dawn.

Custody of the Blessed Sacrament leading the pilgrimage at dawn.

 

A wave of 20,000 women arriving to Polotitlan in the State of Mexico.

A wave of 20,000 women arriving to Polotitlan in the State of Mexico.

 

For some women the pilgrimage is 17 days and more than 270 miles while for most is around 140 miles and 8 days. In July 2016, close to 20,000 women of all ages made the journey walking through step mountains, valleys, dirt roads, and highways, bearing the heat, cold, high humidity, and rain. Several of them have made the yearly journey more than 50 years.

 

Rain is not an impediment to walk, attend mass, or simply having a good time.

Rain is not an impediment to walk, attend mass, or simply having a good time.

 

Monseñor Diego Monroy celebrating Mass during heavy rain near Tepotzotlan State of Mexico.

Monseñor Diego Monroy celebrating Mass during heavy rain near Tepotzotlan State of Mexico.

 

Receiving first aid and seven more days to go.

Receiving first aid and seven more days to go.

 

This photographer decided to live the experience walking with the women in their 17 day pilgrimage, getting an insider view of their motivations and more importantly living with them the heavily loaded emotional journey. It has become clear that there are no big enough obstacles to stop them from getting to the Basilica to visit their beloved Lady of Guadalupe…only for her sake.

 

Amazcala Group walking from Tepeji del Rio to Tepotzotlan State of Mexico.

Amazcala Group walking from Tepeji del Rio to Tepotzotlan State of Mexico.

 

Father Bernardo Resendiz holding the Sacred Sacrament during the Holly Hour in Cuautitlan State of Mexico.

Father Bernardo Resendiz holding the Sacred Sacrament during the Holly Hour in Cuautitlan State of Mexico.

 

At the rhythm of violin and drum women from Amealco enter the Basilica in a traditional dress.

At the rhythm of violin and drum women from Amealco enter the Basilica in a traditional dress.

 

See also:

Dry Land Flower

By Francisco Alcala Torreslanda

 


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