A Diablo Rojo going to take many pilgrims to Portobelo. Image
As we approach the grand celebration of the Black Christ this Friday, October 21, I never fail to recall the words of my beloved grandmother who, as I’ve noted countless times, was the key person in my life to introduce me to the Black Christ of Portobelo in the Province of Colon. Continue reading
As the yearly celebration of the Black Christ of Portobelo begins to enter into Panama’s collective psyche, I begin to draw mental pictures, as an artist would of this whole scene that is an intimate part of our folklore and spiritual heritage and is very much Panamanian. Continue reading
The Black Christ of Portobelo. Image thanks to monumentoshistóricos.com
Ismael Rivera, El Sonero Mayor. Image thanks to grandesestrellas.com
The Church of San Felipe de Portobelo. Image thanks to tripadvisor.com
Through the years, many important miracles have been attributed to the Black Christ. The most well known miracle, however, is probably the one connected to the popular Puerto Rican singer, Ismael Rivera. In 1975, “the Brujo of Borinquen” (The Wizard of Borinquen) was about to give up his successful musical career due to his chronic addiction to drugs. Continue reading
Here I am dressed in the Nazarene’s colors.
- The splendid robes of the Black Christ of Portobelo.
My grandmother, Fanny Reid, was the first person I ever heard mention the Black Christ of Portobelo. I never made a pilgrimage to that Atlantic coastal village with her (and I don’t think she ever did either) but, she often made mention of him and of how he was peculiar to Panama. From that moment on in my childhood I developed a longing to know about this figure that lately has given rise to much controversy and ever more devotion from many parts of the world. Continue reading