People from all over Costa Rica make pilgramages to Cartago, located about 16 miles (25 km) from San Jose. During the holy week at the beginning of August, the little "La Negrita" statue is taken from the altar and paraded in the square in front of the Basilica. As many as one million people, nearly 25% of the population of Costa Rica, will visit the Basilica during that time period.
There is a spring next to the Basilica whose water is considered to have curative powers, and pilgrims will often pray for relief for the physical ailments of themselves or loved ones.
For those who celebrate Christmas, please accept these best wishes for the holiday, and I hope that everyone has a hoyous holiday season and and happy, safe, healthy and prosperous new year.
Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site. This week we are showing the town of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. It is a place from which people explore the Atacama desert and the Andes mountains.