We traveled to Higuey this week to look at two potential humanitarian projects. One is for an orphanage of Haitian children whose sleeping quarters burned to the ground just last Saturday. Our hearts went out to the little group of Haitian kids huddled in the corner. We hope we can do a project for them.
VIRGIN OF ALTAGRACIA
We took advantage of the opportunity while we were in Higuey to visit a famous spot in the Dominican Republic called the “La Basilica de Altagracia”. January 21 will be the Virgin of Altagracia feast day during which thousands of people pilgrimage to Higuey for the chance to file past the image of the Virgin of Altagracia where they promise to do things in exchange for favors or miraculous intervention by the Virgin. Many people will crawl long distances to get into the shrine to wait their turn to stand before the image. Another big day for the Virgin happens during August of each year. Herds of cattle are driven to the Basilica in honor of the Virgin and again to solicit favors. The cattle are given to the priests who sell the cattle to pay for basilica upkeep expenses.
The image of the Virgin has been around since the late 1600’s and is said to have miraculously appeared in different locations and performed many miracles.