This is taken from a National geographic article which I read in a doctor’s office about 8 years ago!!!
In Central Mexico, time and place are fluid, and history runs into the present, and the present is always straining into the afterlife so that nothing is only what it seems. For example, at dawn on January 5, the day before Epiphany, on a dusty rancho in El Rodeo just east of the city of Guanajuato, roosters are insulting one another and shouting for the sun to come up, and a handful of cowboys on fresh horses are dressed as if for church, in white cowboy hats, shirts with faux-pearl buttons, and boots that still bear a literal resemblance to the animal from which they were made: snake, lizard, alligator. There is an edge of cavalry about the way the cowboys spin their leather-and-silver-clad mounts in the orange-blue dust, but next to them is a skin-and-bones mare whose foal was recently killed and eaten by the dogs. She hangs her head beside the cactus to which she is tied, absorbed in the constant, anonymous scrabble for life that is everywhere here, and there is nothing of cavalry in her. The air is scented with cooking smoke and drying laundry.
It's as if everything may happen (the mare may revolt, the cowboys may burst into prayer, miracles may ensue), or nothing will happen at all (the mare will take one breath after another, the cowboys will dismount and make for their construction jobs, the roosters will find a dusty nest and fall asleep). In the end, because this is central Mexico, something entirely other happens. Like rocks being tumbled under a great river, the road that leads from here to Guanajuato begins to clatter, and out of the dawn, thousands of cowboys on a mix of mounts from eager stallions to a black-and-white-spotted donkey appear. With less flourish than you would think, the cowboys from El Rodeo jog out of the rancho onto the road and join the procession.
Christ the King—or a 65-foot-tall depiction of him —stands on top of Cubilete mountain in the state of Guanajuato, thousands of feet up cobbled switchbacks from the high plateau, which is nonetheless called el bajío, the lowland. It is to this statue's feet that three or four thousand cowboys are riding, just as the three wise men are supposed to have ridden to the manger in Bethlehem on this day roughly 2,000 years ago. It is said that this statue of Cristo Rey is most famous for his expressive hands, the way they are held out from his sides, as if the son of God were about to quell a riot.
Pilgrimages to Cristo Rey, to Our Lady of Guadalupe, to depictions of saints elsewhere in the country, are common in Mexico. But seldom is there such a massive cabalgata —a horseback gathering —of faith; it swells by hundreds of riders each year, a word-of-mouth event of magnificent proportions. "It's no one important who rides," one cowboy says, "but it is all of us who have the Lord in our hearts no matter where in the world we go." It is true the riders include construction workers from Chicago, rig workers from Texas, gardeners from Guanajuato, laborers from San Miguel de Allende, farmers from Jalisco. "We are el pueblo," the cowboy says.
So this was the destination today and this would be my fourth trip!!!
Carolyn came and picked me up and we went over to Earlene and Armstrong’s home and they came with us……the day was cloudy but the sun was peaking through!!
It is about a one hours drive to the base of the road that leads up the mountain to the Statue!!!
We stopped and looked inside this church and it really is very beautiful!!
I knew from previous years that there are many children and families that are begging on the side of the road up to the top and Earlene and Armstrong had bought two huge bags of oranges and I brought a huge bag of candy and by the time we had reached the place where we parked we had nothing left……I think almost all of the kids replied with a smile and a Gracias when we handed out an orange another very humbling experience!!!
I was getting a little bit worried because so far we had seen very few cowboys but my fears were put aside when we reached the chapel!!!
Who is this Dudess???
Carolyn fits right in!!!!
Just sit back and enjoy these photos and try to imagine being the only Non Mexicans amongst a crowd of probably over 5000 cowboys!!!! Everyone was so friendly!!!
Earlene and Armstrong decided to stay around where the horses were and Carolyn and I took the trek to the Statue!!
This is said to be the geographical center of Mexico and the shrine here is stunning!!!! As you can see lots of folks approach the Shrine on their knees!!!
Carolyn and I both felt a sense of magic and wonderment by just watching the scenes here!!!
The view from the Statue looking down at thousands of cowboys!!!
We had a tail gate party lunch and then made are way back to SMA…I think we all agreed it was such a special time and one that is so hard to describe it is almost one of those you have to be there event!!!
After we dropped Earlene and Armstrong off Carolyn suggested that we go to Casa Hogar and see if Paola had returned…..this was Carolyn’s first time to CH and she loved it…the girls came running up to her and just wanted to hug her…..Paola was not there and they told me she was now due to return tomorrow afternoon.
We stayed for a while and I was “forced” into a game of baseball!!!
The girls were so much fun and it was another great visit!!!
Carolyn dropped me back at home and it was such a great day and to be able to spend it with special friends and visit CH a bonus!!!!