The religious icon was brought to the island by two spaniards, in one of Christopher Columbus last trips to the new world. It soon started to be worshiped by the catholic community, who were, as crusaders, imposing by force the catholic cult and saints to the lower class made of native workers and African slaves. The slave community started using the icon of La Virgen for their own cult, to their own African gods, transposing the attributes of the catholic icons to their gods.
At this present time, La Virgen de la Altagracia is worshipped largely by the three main religions in the island: catholicism, Santería and the Vodou, both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She is also considered “Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans”, and the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. The feast day of January 21st is a national holiday in the Dominican Republic, and is marked by Mass, festivities, celebrations, and a major pilgrimage from every corner of the island to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in the city of Higuey, to the east of the Dominican territory.
This project was selected in PhotoEspaña2017 for the Discoveries program