La Romería: A Five-Hour Walk in the Middle of the Night


What is the furthest you have ever walked? Have you ever woken up super early to go on a walk? I have! Earlier this year, I joined thousands of other Costa Ricans on a 13 mile pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is a long journey that people from the Catholic religion complete, spanning from my city to a church in the neighboring town. It is a huge feat, and I am not Catholic, but I knew I couldn't miss the unique opportunity!

What tradition did I learn about?:

People do pilgrimages all around the world. The one I did is special to Costa Rica, and is called La Romería de la Vírgen de los Ángeles, or the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Angels. Some people start walking for days before the holiday, covering tens or hundreds of miles on foot, to arrive at the church on August 2nd!

When we started walking, I was surprised by how many other people were there. We were never walking alone. The Red Cross set up stations to give out water and provide medical attention, and there were lots of police officers making sure everyone was safe. All along the route people set up little tiny grills to sell meat on a skewer. I don't eat meat, but they smelled delicious! People were also selling breakfast foods and souvenirs.