Omalys Morales- Site Visit

To begin with, I’d like to share that I am not involved in any type of religion. I believe in God in my own way. For this site visit, I wanted to go somewhere different or never experienced. I went to La Ermita dela Caridad del Cobre. I have heard about this saint and I do know that she is known as Oshun in the religion of Yoruba. I never really was interested in her until I heard that September 8th was her day to celebrate. I thought what better day to go to my site visit than when they are celebrating her. I will admit that my entrance was well accepted, there were a lot of people that were dressed in yellow and they all seemed to mind their own business. I was nervous because I have never been in a religious place before and I did not know what to expect. The first thing I realized immediately was that people were wearing yellow and they had beautiful bouquet of flowers. I also noticed many of them were wearing white and had their head covered (especially the women). I decided to get closer to those people and see what they were doing. They were throwing what looked like pennies to the ocean and some of them had tears in their faces. While many of those people were taking pictures of the place, many were praying near the ocean and some women had her shoes off. A lot of the visitors were older women/men however there was younger women/men as well. There was a point where I walked inside what appeared to be a church and there was a big group that were praying together or saying some paragraph that I had no idea what it was about. Of course, I felt excluded so I decided to just copy them and close my eyes. I felt like they all knew each other and I was a stranger. I did feel like I could ask the members for help, however, at the same time I felt like they were so caught up with their business that they did not want to be bothered. What impacted me the most from the visit was the fact that so many people showed up and you could feel how powerful their ceremony was to the point my own eyes got watery. You could see how devoted some of these people are as they prayed and shook while they were praying. The location was beautiful, I felt like if I was somewhere else and it was definitely a great experience I would like to repeat. As soon as they took out the Virgencita from the pedestal, everyone stood up to take pictures and it was like they had seen something they never had before. They were all so excited, and this made me excited as well. They put her in a glass and four men carried her out the church and all those who gathered inside the church followed them. Even the news cast was there. It was definitely exciting to see all of this happen in one day.

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