On November 26, UNESCO representatives from 24 countries convened in Port Louis, Mauritius.
During this time, members of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage unanimously voted to inscribe the Romería de la Virgen de Zapopan into a special registry known as the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” The purpose of this list is to preserve age-old cultural traditions across the world.
“It is great news, a cultural, religious and popular festival that will be protected before the criteria of UNESCO,” said Zapopan Mayor Pablo Lemus Navarro. “What is done through this declaration is that all who participate in the Romería will have the obligation to conserve the festival in its original traditions and preserve it through the years.”
Since 1734, one of Latin America’s largest religious processions has taken place each October 12. Often accompanied by horsemen, choirs, dancers in native dress and marching bands, the parade venerates a miniature figure known as the Virgin of Zapopan. What makes this icon particularly special is that i its made out of corn husk and stands just 34 centimeters tall.