La Feria

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Once a year, the town of Jonotla holds a huge celebration called La Feria. The festival commemorates the miraculous appearance of an image of the Virgin Mary on the mountainside above the town.

The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, discovered by a child walking by, appeared on a rock face in 1922. It is about 3×5 inches.

A church was built into the side of the mountain to honor the image.

People from all over Mexico journey by bus, bicycle, horse, and foot to Jonotla for the 3-day event filled with dancing, eating, parades, and paying respect at the site of the appearance.

Besides being a wonderful celebration, La Feria is also a great boon for Jonotla’s local economy. Store owners and restaurants keep their doors open for longer hours to accommodate all of the guests and there is never an empty bed in the hotels.

The Himalayan Institute Mexico set up a stand on the main square to distribute information about its educational programs and to sell organic plants from the nursery. Over 75 medicinal plants, trees and vegetable seedlings were sold. It was a great opportunity to connect with local farmers and to show visitors some of the exciting work that is being done with sustainable agriculture.

Click here to see more pictures from La Feria:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiprojects/sets/72157625564919798/

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