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Ann Murdy | profile | all galleries >> Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe in Albuquerque, New Mexico 2012 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe in Albuquerque, New Mexico 2012

In December 2012 the South Broadway neighborhood and the parish of Saint Francis Xavier celebrated the 88th annual fiesta for Our Lady of Guadalupe. This tradition originated in 1924. It began when a group of "compadres" moved into this neighborhood from La Barca, Jalisco, Mexico. They settled into this community where many of them worked on the Santa Fe Railroad. These people wanted to continue a tradition they had in Mexico for honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe by constructing altars or shrines dedicated to her. In total there are about 60 altars in the neighborhood. They are constructed on Saturday and are only up until the next day, Sunday. They are blessed after a 5:00 PM mass on Saturday. After the mass a procession takes place where the priest visits the altars in the neighborhood with a mariachi group. Saturday night is also an open house as visitors are welcomed into the altar homes to enjoy posole, tamales, menudo and biscochitos.

On Sunday there is 10:30 AM mass. After this mass there is another procession that goes around to visit all the altars again. The mass on Sunday is made up of Aztec and Matachine dancers, a mariachi band, little girls dressed as angels, little boys dressed as Juan Diego and usually two teenagers are selected to portray Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego. These two young adults go with the priest from each of the four main altars where they reenact the appearance and dialogue between Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego.

The Guadalupanos of Saint Francis Xavier church play another important role in this celebration. They carry a nichito of Our Lady of Guadalupe during both the Saturday evening and Sunday procession. Every year they help to organize the fiesta. It usually takes six months to prepare for this fiesta. During this time period the entire community comes together by having bake sales and raffles to raise money for the fiesta.

This celebration brings together the community during this special time of year. The altars for Our Lady of Guadalupe are little jewels of true devotion. Many of them have photos of family members who have passed away. Once again, this is another example of familia y fe (family and faith) in New Mexico.
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Guadalupe with stars and roses
Guadalupe with stars and roses
Altar with waterfall
Altar with waterfall
Guadalupe altar with roses and angels
Guadalupe altar with roses and angels
Guadalupe Altar with farolito
Guadalupe Altar with farolito
Guadalupe altar with lights
Guadalupe altar with lights
Altar in Memory of Art Tofoya
Altar in Memory of Art Tofoya
Farolito with Our Lady of Guadalupe
Farolito with Our Lady of Guadalupe
Guadalupe altar with candles
Guadalupe altar with candles
Guadalupe Altar with poinsettias
Guadalupe Altar with poinsettias
Altar with angel and photo
Altar with angel and photo
Altar with Christmas trees
Altar with Christmas trees
Guadalupe Altar with Farolitos
Guadalupe Altar with Farolitos
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