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.
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.
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.
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.
By Francisco Alcala Torreslanda