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article imageDesperate Hondurans seek divine intervention from patron saint

By AFP     Feb 2, 2019 in World

Thousands of Hondurans made desperate pleas Saturday to their country's patron saint, begging for social equality and protection from violent crime.

About two million people make the annual trek to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Suyapa who has been revered for the past 272 years, many crawling as a sign of weakness, over the 10 day event.

"We come to ask the virgin for safety, for less violence and fewer inequalities, for employment and for the Garifuna not to keep being displaced from our territories," Tesla Quevedo told AFP during the commemoration.

View of the Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa  on the 272nd anniversary of the finding of the statue...
View of the Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa, on the 272nd anniversary of the finding of the statue of the Virgin of Suyapa, the patron saint of Honduras
ORLANDO SIERRA, AFP

Most Hondurans are a mix of white and indigenous people but many like the Garifuna who live on the Caribbean coast are Afro-Honduran.

The woman who arrived from the community of Sangrelaya, in Colon department, was with a group of some 300 black pilgrims who traveled in five buses to the sanctuary of Suyapa, located east of Tegucigalpa.

Adherents walk on their knees as they arrive at the Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa
Adherents walk on their knees as they arrive at the Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa
ORLANDO SIERRA, AFP

The members of the Garifuna community said a Mass in their language, punctuated by chants and African drums.

Elsa Gomez, an indigenous woman from Guajiquiro, in the west of the country, told AFP that she has much to thank the virgin for because her three children are "doing well."

Every February  the virgin of Suyapa is commemorated as a reminder of the finding  on that date of 1...
Every February, the virgin of Suyapa is commemorated as a reminder of the finding, on that date of 1747, of the 6.5 cm statuette by a farmer on a mountain in the east of the capital
ORLANDO SIERRA, AFP

Every February, the virgin of Suyapa is commemorated as a reminder of the finding, on that date of 1747, of the 6.5 cm statuette by a farmer on a mountain in the east of the capital.

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