Santa Catarina Juquila
Photography by Bill Bell
This town is on the road from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca and is famous for its Virgen of Juquila. People come from all over for una promesa.
They promise to make a certain number of visits over the next few years. In return, they ask a miracle: that a sickness be cured, that a broken limb be repaired, that a dying relative be brought to life again, that a child be made well. They also ask for prosperity: a bounty of sheep, or goats, or maiz.
The town is known for the Santuario (Sanctuary) de Juquila which houses a 30 cm statue of the Virgin Mary, which has been venerated since the 16th century. In 1633, it survived, completely intact, a fire that destroyed the village in which it was originally located.
At the beginning of the 18th century, it was moved to its current location where the sanctuary was built for it. Thousands visit this Virgin from across the state of Oaxaca, other parts of Mexico and abroad.