Let’s have a parade!
Yesterday, Sunday, the Iconic Virgin of Zapopan came to Chapala on her now annual visit to us at lakeside.
In the 1950s, the lake had shrunk to the point where it seemed endangered by a long and devastating drought. Local Catholics prayed to the Holy Virgin Mary for relief from the severe conditions, with the local bishop promising that La Zapopana, as the Virgin of Zapopan is known here, would visit Chapala when the prayers were answered.
And they seemed to be.
The lake shrank again under similar conditions in the late 1990s and again La Zapopana was credited with a miracle recovery.
La Zapopana is the Virgin of Expectation whose intercession has been sought by Catholics in the Guadalajara area of over four centuries.
That’s a lot of prayer and a lot of faith.
The Virgin was welcomed to Chapala with a big parade, right down the main road of the city to the Cathedral.
The road was marked with a bed of wood chips of differing colors and grass laid to lead the way to the Cathedral.
Folks started gathering around 11AM and the parade started shortly thereafter.
And what a parade was. All sorts of groups in a plethora of dress, some native, some seeming Day of the Dead, some even seeming science fiction, and some, of course, marching band.
Lots of drumming and lots of music.
No floats. Very few vehicles. Mostly thousands and thousands of people celebrating the visit of the Virgin.
How wonderful and delightful.
I had an excellent spot to see the parade. And next to me were a couple, Millenials, who spoke no English. But we communicated perfectly, laughing and pointing and just having fun together. The young man told me by pointing that he was going to get some drinks and did I want any.
This is a usual experience in Mexico. People communing and breaking bread together.
Below are a some short videos of various sections of the parade, culminating with the Virgin arriving (next to the last video). Hope you enjoy.