Puebla, Mexico, Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Dozens of pilgrims began their long walk on Wednesday from the Mexican state of Puebla to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of this important religious site for Dec. 12, Day of the Virgin.
Faith is greater than the health crisis, so, depicted in images, pictures and flags, the Virgin of Guadalupe accompanies the devotees on their way.
To the pilgrims, it does not matter how many hours it takes to reach the religious site more than 130 kilometers away, nor how cold it is around the volcanoes at the beginning of the journey.
Slowly, adults and children walk with the same hope of arriving healthy and seeing the mantle of the Virgin of Tepeyac.
The authorities of Mexico City decided this year to close the basilica from Dec. 10 to 13 to avoid crowds and the health risk that they create, since the city is mired in an increase in hospitalizations due to Covid-19.
Parishioners are aware that they will not be able to access the venue, and they assure that they will be respectful of what the authorities dictate.
Édgar Rosales, a pilgrim from Puebla, told EFE that this is his 18th walk, because his love for the “morenita” moves him to Mexico City. He continues, listening to music, and carrying enough food and warm clothes for the three days on the road.
His first stop was in Xalinzintla, where he spends the night on the esplanade of the municipal presidency, sheltered by other pilgrims with the same destination.
“We know that with this Covid we are not allowed to get there, but we have our little boss in our hearts and she knows that even a few steps from her sanctuary we are present with all our hearts,” he said.
Pablo Saldaña is fulfilling his promise to attend the basilica this year and regrets that it will not be a traditional walk due to the pandemic.
“I had already planned it for many years and due to various circumstances or situations I had not been able to (do the pilgrimage). So I decided this year and this [pandemic] is not an impediment. (I have) faith intact to move forward,” he said.
In this community near the Popocatépetl volcano, a family that decided not to walk due to health circumstances arrives to share coffee, water and bread with the pilgrims, tired and hungry after several hours of walking.
They told EFE that this year there were very few Catholics who passed through the communities and it was reflected in them having brought three boxes of sweet bread, and not one had yet been finished. EFE-EPA