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Los Angeles Latinos ask Virgin of Guadalupe to protect migrants

Hundreds of floral arrangements adorn a mural with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Los Angeles, on 12 December 2018. EFE-EPA/ Ivan Mejia

Hundreds of floral arrangements adorn a mural with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Los Angeles, on 12 December 2018. EFE-EPA/ Ivan Mejia

EFE

Hundreds of Latinos, mostly Mexicans, on Wednesday are celebrating the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe before a mural with her image in the historic center of Los Angeles, where - in addition to thanking her for “miracles” - they are asking her to “protect” migrants.

“People are bringing flowers to the Virgin of Guadalupe and the common request is that she protect the Central Americans who are afraid and suffering on the other side of the border,” 74-year-old Dora Obando, a Nicaraguan volunteer who arranges flowers, told EFE.

“In addition, they’re asking the Little Virgin to work a miracle to change President Donald Trump ‘s way of thinking so that he pushes for immigration reform,” she said.

“We’re seeing that they’re throwing stones, (firing) tear gas and rubber bullets at the immigrants; that pains all of us here,” Obando added.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s patron saint who, according to the Catholic faith, appeared on Dec. 12, 1531, to indigenous saint Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City.

The celebration of the “Brown-skinned Virgin” - as the Virgin of Guadalupe is also known - remains part of the culture of the Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles who gathered on Wednesday before a mural on a wall of the Our Lady Queen of Angels church.

“Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas” reads the text inscribed over the image of the Virgin, where thousands of flowers have been piled up around a tree and at the foot of the gigantic painting.

Many of the assembled faithful were heard to be praying for the Virgin to open Trump’s heart regarding migrants - and immigrants in general.

Meanwhile, 31-year-old Carlos Campos, who emigrated from Mexico City with his parents at age 6, said that as “one who crossed the (Rio Grande) river” his request of the Virgin is for “immigration reform that benefits everyone.”

“I’m a Dreamer,” he said, adding that despite the fact that “US society doesn’t accept us,” he was asking the Virgin to provide him with immigration papers so that he can work in the US and “contribute” to this country.

Outside of Mexico, Los Angeles is the city that is home to the largest number of Mexicans in the world.


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