Today, August 1, is a big day for the faithful Catholics in Costa Rica. It is the day of the ‘romeria’, the annual pilgrimage to the Basicila de Los Angeles, in Cartago.
From all over the Costa Rica and even other countries, will on foot, car, bus or train arrive in Cartago today for the official ceremonies on Thursday to honor the patron saint of Costa Rica, La Virgen de los Angeles or ‘La Negrita’ as she is commonly referred to.
Thursday, August 2, is a holiday. See here Ministry of Labor holiday schedule.
However, it is a “pago no obligatorio” holiday, that is you are paid only if you work the day. Salaried employees – bi-weekly and monthly – usually get paid for the day. Daily workers may not, it will depend on the employer.
With the Romeria, there are important road closures to consider, mainly from San Pedro in the area of the Fuente de la Hispanidad to the way to Cartago.
Police, Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and Bomberos (fire dept) will be on hand to provide security and assistance to the ‘romeros’ (pilgrims).
If you are visiting the Virgen today and tomorrow, take into account that Cartago is typically colder than San Jose, especially at night, bring a sweater. Also, if you are walking or taking public transit, have your return plan in place to avoid the massive congestion on Thursday.