This weekend will see the early birds on pilgrimage

Although the celebration of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles is a bit less than two weeks away, the Cruz Roja and the various police forces have firmed up their plans.

Some 1,200 Fuerza Pública officers will be on duty starting Saturday. They will work until Aug. 5 on this special assignment guarding the routes that lead to and from Cartago and the basilica there.

Typically this weekend will see a wave of early birds who will walk to Cartago to avoid the rush that develops closer to Aug. 2, the legal holiday that includes a religious celebration at the basilica.

The security ministry also will be using its aircraft
to watch the routes. The display of police will increase as the number of pilgrims do likewise.

The Cruz Roja said that it will have 720 workers providing aid and comfort to pilgrims, but that agency will not be in full swing until July 28. There will be aid stations set up near the country’s population centers and on the principal highways.

This weekend also is the time when pilgrims from outside the country will begin their hike. Some come from Panamá and Guatemala.

An estimated 2 million persons make the pilgrimage each year from their home to the basilica in Cartago. As Aug. 2 draws near, traffic will be rerouted along the major routes to accommodate the columns of pilgrims.

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