Jessica Fagundes describes herself as, “a small town girl interested in discovering the amazing world around her.” Jessica is a public relations and Spanish major at the University of Nevada, Reno who continued her studies this past fall semester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica with USAC.
In her blog Jessica describes the festival of Virgin del Mar in Costa Rica which originated in the 1920’s when a group of sailors were lost at sea in the Nicoya Gulf. Starving and dying of thirst, the men prayed to the Virgin Carmen asking her to get them home safely. In exchange, they promised to hold a festival each year honoring her and her kindness. Virgin Carmen must have accepted the proposal as the men lived to tell the tale and each year, for two weeks in July, take to the streets where vendors, carnival games, and tourists fill the beach in celebration of the Virgin of the Sea.
“The streets are blocked off. People line the sidewalks taking pictures and buying souvenirs. From around the corner, bulls, decorated with flowers and painted harnesses, drag ox carts down the street.”
“A large part of the festival is the boat parade held in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Boats of all sizes float out in the Nicoya Gulf during the first weekend of festival. They, like the bulls in the parade, are decorated to give thanks to the Virgin of the Sea.”
The festival was so enriched in Costa Rican culture she feels it was a great experience to see and attend. Jessica and friends enjoyed the parade as it walked right past the USAC University.
To read more about the festival of Virgin del Mar and Jessica’s “discoveries of the amazing world” visit her blog.