Pilgrims at Cartago


This photograph from Costa Rica shows pilgrims in traditional dress and head wraps, some with blackened faces. Every year, thousands of devotees from across Costa Rica make a pilgrimage on foot to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, the national religious shrine, to honor the Virgin Mary and pay homage for favors granted. The pilgrimage coincides with the feast day of the Virgin of the Angels, held on August 2, to commemorate the miraculous appearance (and subsequent reappearance) of a small, carved image of Mary to a young native girl in 1635. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Organization of American States, Costa Rica

Title in Original Language

Pilgrams (sic) at Cartago

Type of Item

Physical Description

8 x 10 inches; black and white photograph

Last updated: September 22, 2014