COSTA RICA NEWS – It’s almost that time of year, the “Romería”. And although the big days for the pilgrimage to Cartago is on August 1 and 2, many will take advantage of the July 25 to get ahead of the crowds.

Rear view of the Basilica, that leads to the shrine entrance below.
Rear view of the Basilica, that leads to the shrine entrance below.

This year, some 1.500 officers of the Fuerza Pública, 22 patrol cars and a police helicopter will be on hand to ensure a safe walk.

In addition, 365 “cruzrojistas” (Red Cross workers) will be providing first aid to anyone that needs it along the route from San José to the Basilica de Los Angeles in Cartago.

The director of th eFuerza Pública, Juan José Andrade, explained that along the principal route to Cartago, police will be setting up three command posts and seven Centro de Atención Policial (CAP).

Carlos Gutiérrez, head of the Cruz Roja, said that some first aid posts will be operational starting Friday, July 25 (a legal holiday in Costa Rica) and on the 31st of July all 14 posts will be fully staffed.

Visitors to the Basilica will see some changes this year.

Francisco Arias, rector del Santuario Nacional (National Shrine) said they are painting the facade of the Basilica in order to rescue the details and tone of the original image of the building.

Arias said he hopes all the work will be finished in time to commemorate the 379th anniversary of the discovery of the Virgen de los Angeles or La Negrita as Costa Ricans affectionetaly call her.

The rector added that they had to install faucets on the water pipes to avoid waste, given the supply problems during the dry season. Arias assures that there will be sufficient water for the faithful.

Photo by mayacreativegroup
For those not familiar with the tradition, the water liquid from the pipes (fountain) is deemed “holy water” and believed by many to have healing properties, fostering “spiritual purity.” | Photo by mayacreativegroup

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