Brooklyn Latinos Thankful to ‘Virgin of Immigrants’
El Diario La Prensa reports on Ecuadorians in Brooklyn who worship the “Virgin of Immigrants,” who they believe watches over their countrymen who decide to leave for the U.S. The article is translated from Spanish below.
Ecuadorian immigrants’ tradition of putting their trust in the “Virgen del Rocío” before crossing borders in search of the American Dream has inspired other Latinos to venerate her during an annual celebration that gathers more than 1,000 worshipers in Brooklyn.
On Sept. 7, followers will honor their “Virgen del Inmigrante” (Virgin of Immigrants), as she is called, at Nuestra Señora de la Paz church, located at 522 Carroll St. in Brooklyn, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., by singing mañanitas, a traditional birthday song originally from Mexico. The celebration will continue until Sept. 9, with a procession and performances of music and Ecuadorian dance.
The vigil was start
ed eight years ago by Ecuadorians from the village of Biblián to thank the virgin for her miracles. Worshippers believe she watches over Ecuadorians who leave their country for New York in search of a better future.
The Virgen del Rocío began to gain followers more than a century ago when a severe drought afflicted Biblián. The town’s residents prayed for a miracle and received an answer
when heavy rains revived the countryside.
José Sanango, coordinator of the Chorus of the Virgen del Rocío, said 15 Ecuadorian families collaborated to bring a handcrafted image of the virgin to New York.
“Immigrants from Biblián put their trust in our mother Rocío to make it through the ordeal of crossing borders. It’s a tradition that grew from her miracles,” said Sanango.
Since 2004, she has gained followers from other countries, especially Peru, Chile, and Nicaragua.
“It makes us very proud to have a virgin who watches over immigrants,” said Sanango.
For more information on the festivities, please call 347-738-7855.