|The Virgin of Juquila is the most venerated Virgin in Southern Mexico. Her festival is a month long and ends on Dec. 8. Many pilgrims walk for hundreds of miles to pray for miracles.
It is customary for pilgrims to visit the place where the Virgin first appeared. It’s called La Capilla del Pedimento. While there the pilgrim leaves a token or symbolic object at the shrine. These tokens represent the wish they are going to ask the Virgin’s help with. This could be the health of a family member, money, a farm animal or the soul of a person that recently died. They then walk to the town of Juquila and many sleep in the courtyard of the church waiting for mass. During the mass, objects they have brought with them are blessed. Pilgrims come from as far away as the state of Puebla to worship the Virgin.
Juquila is a municipal capital that has modernized. Nevertheless, at least 50% of the population still speaks Chatino. The area is mountainous, as is most of Oaxaca, and quite beautiful. The festival of the Virgin lasts a month and some pilgrims go the last mile on their knees as a sign of devotion. During our 3-day pilgrimage from Ocotlan, we walked twenty hours a day and met many other pilgrims along the way. Impromptu restaurants are set up to feed the hungry.