A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

20160404 133403 e1509164792566 860x280 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

20160404 131928 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

Lost in the middle of the Malinalco desert, Tenancingo, Sanctuario de Chalma sounds remote and peaceful. There were stories about the Chalma sanctuary christening as a wishing well and the healing power of its river which many believed worked as mysteriously as the miraculous water of Lourdes of France.

 

20160404 132954 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

There were legends that this ground where the Chalma church stands today was the same place where the Augustine friars saw the apparition of Christ six centuries ago. All these anecdotes steered our restless feet to the southern state of Mexico on Tuesday.

 

20160404 132745 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

The convenient car ride to Chalma was shrugged off with bone-dry dust sticking to the windshield.In a few minutes, my boyfriend and I started walking along the parched bluffs and orange soil which were covered with footsteps of travelers swarming like eager ants. It was Tuesday and the path leading to the sanctuary was already crowded. I can’t imagine during weekends how the whole scene is.

 

20160404 124137 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

20160404 132629 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de ChalmaEntrance to the Chalma Sanctuary

Oscar held my right-hand firmer as we jammed to the tight sea of crowds.Between our sides were far-reaching lines of souvenir shops selling effigies of Mama Mary and Jesus Christ. At the far end seemed like a parade of color to our senses with various displays of sweet candies readily wrapped as gifts in mini bowls and colorful rosaries.

Related article: Souvenir Ideas to buy in Mexico

20160404 135204 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

It seemed that everyone was selling anything ranging from food to souvenir items. There were even artisan shops displaying bags, toys and other decorative things that you can think of.

 

20160404 134302 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

We were breathing a distinct smell of the crispy, golden plates of chicharrón and the tasteful aroma of tacos from afar. It was so tempting to buy and eat the chicharrón but I was more excited to see right away the Chalma church than eating or doing anything else.

Read also: Foods to try in Mexico

20160404 134101 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

At the end were oases, with all kinds of Mexican drinks ranging from strong beers to margaritas were laid bare. What was it supposed to mean? Drinks served right in front of the holy church? So, people on pilgrimage to Chalma drink these beverages before or after visiting the church? I have never seen this kind of setup before. Yes, it’s normal to see vendors selling foodstuff in front of the church but alcoholic drinks seem out of place.

 

20160404 133937 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

At this final sight, the territory of disorientation widened in my heart.This sanctuary was supposed to be a sacred placed as its name suggests.In the church facade, travelers danced around the scattered garlands of flowers.Wandering around the complex, I noticed the cliffs hunching at the back of the chapel.

 

20160404 132314 e1509164540340 576x1024 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

En el silencio habla Dios escuchalo.- San Agustin

20160404 133237 1 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

20160404 133231 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

 

Just beside the river, we found the display area where all the gifts and letters were plastered at the wall of appreciation. Is anyone seeing Manny Pacquiao, a Filipino fighter, in the Prayer of the Boxer? Or perhaps Juan Manuel Marquez? There were also other prayers, not only dedicated for boxers but for other professions as well. No doubt, Sanctuario de Chalma was converted into a tourist attraction at the heart of this remote and distant desert.

 

20160404 133610 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma20160404 133517 1024x576 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

Before leaving Chalma, there’s a photo booth where you can take photos of you, with available props and photographer if you need his service.
20160404 133711 1 e1509246683173 576x1024 - A Pilgrimage to Sanctuario de Chalma

Have you been on a pilgrimage before? How was it?

Related Post

Anna La Viajera on EmailAnna La Viajera on FacebookAnna La Viajera on GoogleAnna La Viajera on InstagramAnna La Viajera on LinkedinAnna La Viajera on PinterestAnna La Viajera on TwitterAnna La Viajera on Youtube
Anna La Viajera
Anna is a travel buff, logophile, choreophile, an adventurous foodie & glossophilia.She loves writing, dancing, traveling & learning languages. She speaks more than 5 languages and have been to more than 20 countries so far. In her leisure time, she loves to listen to music, dance & try cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *