The Nazarene of Atalaya and His Festivities
Many people walk for days from their hometowns to Atalaya, to participate in the festivities.
After many hours of sacrifice, they arrive to the town of Atalaya, Veraguas.
The town squares become camping and resting grounds for these religious Panamanians.
Other people sell rosaries and small icons of the saint.
In the back of the church, there is a small stage where certain activities are held during the weekend.
Icon of the Jesus, as the Nazarene of Atalaya. It has been at the local church for centuries.
Pilgrims praying and making their offerings at the church's door.
There is not a historical date for the start of the pilgrimages to Atalaya. However, records show that in 1730, people were already flocking to this small town to pray in front of the image of Jesus Christ hosted in the local church.
Atalaya is a colonial town founded by the Spanish around 1570-1575. It church has been declared a minor basilica by the Vatican because of its importance in Panama's church calendar.
Days before the saint's festivities, it is common to see people walking next to the Panamerican Highway, all the way from Panama City and other towns to Atalaya. They come to pray for or to say thanks for a miracle or favor attributed to the Nazarene.
There are masses during the weekend, and on Sunday, there is the procession. This year, around 50,000 made the pilgrimage to Atalaya to see the Nazarene.