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Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta includes A Mountain pilgrimage

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From Staff Reports, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 5:19 a.m. MT Dec. 8, 2019

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LAS CRUCES – The Tortugas Pueblo Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta is near.

La Corporacion de Los Indigenes de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe will host the fiesta, always on Dec. 10, 11 and 12, and held in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the village. This year’s fiesta will be the 109th in Tortugas.

It is a religious fiesta that celebrates the apparitions of Our Lady to the Indian San Juan Diego. It is a time for thanksgiving and worship for many and the Pueblo leads the general public through the religious experience. The fiesta also incorporates the customs and traditions of the Piro and Tigua ancestors of the village. It is a goal that all participants will have the same experience as the village’s ancestors, organizers say.

The Pueblo encourages and welcomes the participation of the public. However, vendors are not allowed, as organizers want the fiesta to stay true to its religious and cultural roots.

The celebration will begin on Tuesday, Dec.10, at 6:30 p.m., with a candlelight procession from La Capilla to the Casa del Pueblo. Upon arriving at the Casa del Pueblo, an all-night vigil will be held. Groups will perform traditional dances throughout the night.

On the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 11, a candlelight procession will be held at 5 a.m. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be taken from La Casa del Pueblo to the Sanctuario de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

The 11th is also the traditional date for the annual pilgrimage to Tortugas Mountain, colloquially known as “A” mountain. Registration for the pilgrimage begins at 6 a.m., at

La Casa del Pueblo. The public can gather at La Casa del Pueblo and join

the procession to the top of the mountain. There will also be confessions before the Mass celebrated on top of the mountain at 11 a.m. Diocese of Las Cruces Bishop Emeritus Ricardo Ramírez will celebrate the Mass. Pets are discouraged on the pilgrimage.

Pilgrims traditionally stay on the mountain and construct quiotes, or walking sticks, during the day. At 4 p.m., a rosary is recited on the mountain before the pilgrims descend. The journey is completed with a ceremony in front of La Casa del Pueblo about 8 p.m. 

On Thursday, Dec. 12, the fiesta continues with the 9 a.m. Fiesta Mass celebrated at

the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. After the Mass, four dance groups will perform traditional Indian and Danzante dances throughout the village. The dance groups consist of the Tortugas Pueblo dancers, the Danzantes and two Matachine groups: La Danza Azteca Chichimeca and La Danza Guadalupana Azteca.

Another highlight is the traditional noon meal at La Casa de Comida. The meal consists of albondigas, beans, macaroni, and red chile. The meal is open to the public at no charge.

The 12th continues with a procession around the village at 4 p.m., and a rosary at 5 p.m. A reception in honor of the new mayordomos is the final event.

La Corporacion asks that photography not interfere with dancing or activities. Photography is prohibited in La Casa Del Pueblo or La Capilla without

the permission of the Pueblo.

For information, contact the parish office at 575-526-8171 or Lupe Domínguez-Flores at 575-312-5335..

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