Celebrating Feast Day in Mexico City

Basilica de Guadalupe 40

The Basilica of Guadalupe, in northern Mexico City, is the world’s third-most-visited religious pilgrimage destination. It is here that the Aztecs worshipped at a pre-Colombian temple atop Tepeyac Hill. It is here that indigenous monk Juan Diego saw several visions of the Virgin Mary. And it is here that a series of churches exist today in honor of the Virgin’s first appearance.

Today is Feast Day, a spiritual celebration of the Virgin’s first appearance in Mexico, and a day when thousands – millions – arrive in reverence. Each December 12th, the street leading up to the basilica is closed to vehicular traffic and overtaken by pilgrims, many crawling the last several hundred meters on their knees. Mass is conducted around-the-clock, volunteers feed the homeless at a food station behind the basilica, and Aztec drummers keep the rhythm in the adjacent plaza while others dance in a haze of incense. The energy is infectious at any time of year, but doubly so on Feast Day and during the days leading up to it.

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Seriously, What’s the Problem?

I read a terrific CNN blog entry Wednesday about America’s (and the world’s, but mostly America’s) misconceptions about Mexico, their muyyy complicated neighbor to the south. The link is below:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/27/mexicos-misconceptions/

I wanted to digest the article for a day or two before offering my own opinion. I encourage you to read it yourself. It is insightful and generally accurate, although I partially disagree with one of author Ravi Agrawal’s major points. He comments that the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China should make way for four other, less-respected, faster-rising countries: Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Korea. A well-intended observation, but he’s being too generous with some of the aforementioned countries – and not generous enough with others.

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