Devotion to Virgen del Carmen in a town in Panama

Punta Chame (Panama) (BLAZETRENDS).- One night some 20 years ago, the fishing boat belonging to Augusto Mayorga, a Panamanian who is now 54 years old, capsized in the middle of strong waves off the coast of Punta Chame, a small town located on the Pacific coast of Panama.

His brother was also on the ship. The overturning of the boat left Mayorga sunk under the cloth of fishing nets. And it was when she, she assured BLAZETRENDS in the midst of the happy music of the Virgen del Carmen festivities, that she saw her, right there.

“I was under the trammel nets. I saw her. she saved me. There are many people who say no, but I saw her and she saved me, ”Mayorga maintains, without a hint of a doubt, about his experience with the Virgen del Carmen, while other colleagues validate this story with their heads and comments.

The patron saint of sailors and fishermen

Fishermen collect their nets on the shores of the fishing village of Punta Chame (Panama). BLAZETRENDS/Welcome Velasco

The miracles of the Virgen del Carmen reverberate throughout the town, which is dressed in the colors of flowers and the aromas of typical food to walk around, both through the few streets of Punta Chame and along its dark blue coast by boat, to the patron saint of sailors and fishermen who celebrate her day.

For Ramón Molina, a 51-year-old fisherman born in Honduras to Panamanian parents, there is no doubt that “la Virgencita” saved him and the crew of the tugboat in which they were traveling to Mexico years ago from dying in a terrible storm, ” 85 knots” or 157 kilometers per hour.

“We already considered ourselves lost, because an 85-knot storm on a small ship, a tugboat … It was crazy how the water rose and entered that ship from all sides and came out, how the waves washed over that ship, like a piece of paper ”, this man still remembers with emotion, who began in this hard profession of fishing at the age of 15.

And that’s when “the captain, a 100% believer in the Virgencita, says ‘brother, don’t worry, we’re going with her.’ So it was. We got out of that storm and moved on and here we are still. We arrived in Mexico safe and sound,” said Molina.

Fresh flowers and veneration for the Virgin

Fishermen work today on the shores of the fishing village of Punta Chame (Panama). BLAZETRENDS/Welcome Velasco

Mrs. Doris Damaris Álvarez, 60 years old and living in Punta Chame for 35 years, is one of those in charge for years of organizing the Virgen del Carmen festival in this coastal community, highly visited all year round by domestic and foreign tourists for its Beaches.

Every July 16 “the party is very beautiful. We are three ladies who organize the festivity”, which consists of walking “well adorned” to the Virgen del Carmen, both through the town and along the coast.

“This 2023 marks the 80th anniversary of our Lady of the Virgen del Carmen being celebrated here. Over time, many people came, and they built the most beautiful, largest church. The image has also changed: one that walks in the sea and the other that walks through the streets of the town”, Álvarez specified.

Boats of the colorful and large marine procession

Fishermen work today on the shores of the fishing village of Punta Chame (Panama). BLAZETRENDS/Welcome Velasco

Jorge Henry Tuñón, a 44-year-old Panamanian, is the one who has the “privilege, the honor, for more than 25 years, year after year”, of decorating the Virgen del Carmen with fresh flowers and other elements in Punta Chame.

“My ancestors instilled it in me, my mother instilled it in me and here we do it with love. One puts 100% of mind and heart. The spirit, the delivery, one tries to transmit it to the maximum. Because we are from the town and the Virgin inspires us,” Tuñón told BLAZETRENDS.

The entire process of decorating the Virgin begins more or less a month before July 16. Arranging the flowers, which arrive in town on July 15, takes about 7 to 8 hours, she added.

“Flowers are always natural” and that is felt in the town, where its aromas mix with those of fried fish and sancocho, among other typical delicacies, and also the boats of the colorful and large marine procession.

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