Virgin of Carmen or Mamacha Carmen
By: Brooke Pace
Along the Coast thousands of people hold many festivals the honor of the Virgin Carmen, or as known to locals, Mamacha Carmen, the patron saint of the mestizo population. This all dates back the Old Testament when the prophet Elias retreated to a cave in Mount Carmelo near Israel. Centuries later when hermits followed his footsteps, they prayed for the protection of the Virgin's Mary Mount of Carmelo(Virgin of Carmen) and since then she has been the protector of fishermen and marines everywhere.
In the afternoon and into the evening of July 16 her statute is paraded through the streets and taken around the bay on a flower-adorned boat accompanied by fishing boats. There are brass bands playing, crowds cheering, rockets shoot off, and fireworks are let off in the night sky. People dress up in bright, cheerful colors with a various amount of exotic masks and costumes to perform daring gymnastics and dances.
Virgen del Carmen Estepona