Heart and Soul

Corona de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

The Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta’s El Centro.  It dominates the skyline and is one of the great symbols of our community. Nuestra. Our. The Mexicanos are an inclusive people.  This beautiful icon belongs to all of us. Nuestra. It’s like “Y’all” is the American South, your welcomed warmly.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the center of life in Puerto Vallarta. The plaza that is in front of the church hosts many annual celebrations including Our Lady’s feast day on December 12. Traditionally a huge parade ends in the church. Following the service, the celebrants flood onto the plaza lined with food booths. Delicious posole, tamales, and other local delicacies are sold by  people coming from all over the area. It helps launch the holiday season

The cast-cement crown resting above a clocktower high the sky of Vallarta.  Lit at night the orb and cross glow. My physical therapist’s sculpture father designed the original cast iron crown, or corona en español. Legend has it that is was inspired by a crown belonging to the Empress Carolota. The crown is held aloft by angels the filigreed corona is striking and beautiful.

While the clock tower was completed in 1952, the crown installed in 1965. In 1995, it was toppled by an earthquake. A cast cement corona replaced the original.

This image is a fantasy based on a photograph I took of the Our Lady of Guadalupe from the pool area of Selva Romantica in one of our many Spring Break visits before we made the Bay of Banderas our home. Captured at sunset, the crown vibrates orange and pink.  The wisps of clouds beginning to color.