Santi Vidal

Location: Valencia, Spain
Nationality: Spain
Biography: Santiago Vidal is a freelance photographer based in Valencia, Spain. At the present time he is learning more on telling stories. He documents news, festivals, and works on personal projects.  He has achieved publishing in the New York Times,... read on
Public Story
Copyright santi vidal 2021
Date of Work 01/15/17 - 01/21/17
Updated 03/29/20
The first religious icon from La Virgen de la Altagracia was brought to the island of La Hispaniola 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.

500 years passed, and 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


Altagracia is a reportage about the pilgrimage to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higuey, Dominican Republic every year, by January 21st, known as The Altagracia Day. It is surely one of the oldest traditions still celebrated in America since Columbus.


Also by Santi Vidal —


Dominican Republic

By Santi Vidal / Dominican republic — "allá en  [San Pedro de]  Macorís del mar, pueblo pequeño y mío/hondo rincón de aguas perdido en..

Stone Town: the old city

By Santi Vidal / Stone town, Zanzibar — Stone Town, the Old City in Zanzibar island, an autonomous region in Tanzania, is a UNESCO World Heritage..
Join us
for more access