Some will embark on their Cartago pilgrimage today

Today is a holiday, and some Costa Ricans will take advantage of the three-day weekend to make their pilgrimage to Cartago.

The Cruz Roja and the Policía de Tránsito were to activate their pilgrimage plans today. The Cruz Roja has an aid station in the plaza of the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles in Cartago. Volunteers and staffers treat thousands of footsore faithful each year.

There also will be an aid station at Ochomogo on the Autopista Florencio del Castillo that runs from Curridabat to Cartago. Officials generally figure that most of the early pilgrims will come for the direction of San José.

Traffic police said they will go to work today at 2 p.m. and work all day Saturday and Sunday. The real crush will be Monday through Friday as the number of pilgrims grow. The bulk will time their walk so that they overnight in the basilica plaza Friday night for a Saturday Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary who is the patroness of the country.

Elsewhere in the country pilgrims already are on the highways, Some are en route from Panamá and even Guatemala.

Today’s public holiday commemorates the decision by residents of Nicoya and the Guanacaste area to join with Costa Rica in 1824. It is the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya and there is a lot of government activity in Nicoya, including a meeting of President Luis Guillermo Solís and his cabinet. This is an annual tradition.

Government services except essential ones are not available today. Some stores will be closed or working limited hours. Many private clubs and public bars and restaurants are having special fiestas for the holiday. The Museo Nacional has one planned for Sunday.

A.M. Costa Rica has published today, but its offices in Barrio Otoya are closed. However, staffers are monitoring any news developments and the newspaper will be updated as needed.

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