La Lomita Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Miguel Angel Victoria Fotógrafo

La Lomita Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Culiacán, Sinaloa, México.
No one knows when the ceremonies of the Virgin of Guadalupe initiated in the chapel of our lady of Guadalupe, better known as La Lomita Chapel.
485 years ago when the city of Culiacan was funded, the same that has passed since the image of the Virgin appeared for the first time in Mexico.
It was in 1531 when the Indian Juan Diego (canonized by Pope Juan Pablo ll) saw the Virgin for the first time, while walking on a hill.

He would later become the first indigenous saint of the American continent.

La Lomita Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe History

The story tells us that the Virgin asked him to look for the Bishop Fray de Zumarraga to express his desire to build a temple on the hill of Tepeyac.
That same year, on September 29, the Villa of San Miguel of Culiacan began to repopulate of Spaniards.
Meanwhile Culiacan already existed, it was a small hamlet, describes the historian Herberto Sinagawa Montoya.
Sinagawa says the two historical facts are a simple coincidence.
For the church the foundation of Culiacan and the appearance of the Virgin Morena on the same year was a religious sign.

Traditional Outfits

“Something that draws much attention is the coming of our lady of Guadalupe to Mexico coincides with the year of the foundation of Culiacan.
In September the city is founded and in December the Virgin of Guadalupe appears “, relates the vicar of La Lomita Chapel, Rosario Enríquez.

Children dressed in chinas poblanas (traditional outfits), Indian or San Juan Diego.
Penitents which climb on their knees 144 steps to carry out a vow.
Hundreds of flowers and candles offered in honor to the Virgin, will once again register La Lomita Chapel, whose history dates back to 1909.
The influence to the festivities of the Virgin increased considerably with the urban growth of the city.
Because there are indicators that in 1945 there were already pilgrimage with few people.
It appears in photographs from 1945 that La Lomita Chapel was already visited on December 12 by some people.
With the increase of inhabitants the influx rose and now there are more than 100 thousand people who come.
The chapel has to be emptied of people every hour during the festivities.
Because everyone wants to come to venerate the Virgin and inside only two thousand people standing can fit.
People start arriving early and fill up all the steps waiting in hope to be able to enter.
To this sanctuary people come from Culiacán and from neighboring towns to visit the Virgin and their families in the decembrina epoch.

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Custom for Believers

It is a custom for believers to bring a bouquet of flowers, as an offering or in gratitude for the favors granted to the Virgin
Stairs of love

It was the year 1913 when the Ex Governor of Sinaloa, Ramon F. Iturbe, ordered to construct the stairs of La Lomita Chapel.

A total of 144 steps speak of the deep desire that motivated the General to perform such task.
Some say that it was in payment of a vow, others that in gratitude for gaining a battle.
But the Historian Herberto Sinagawa says he has the story that comes closest to reality.
Sinagawa says that the General ordered the construction of the stairs in La Lomita Chapel and it was not to pay a vow to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
This staircase was built by (Ramón F. Iturbe) to seduce a beautiful girl from Cosala called Mercedes Acosta,” said the historian.
“He built the staircase and achieved what the young military man presaged, he married her.
Of course, the time that the marriage lasted between Iturbe and Mercedes Acosta is difficult to specify, because he flirted a lot “.
The witness of the wedding, which took place in 1914, was President Venustiano Carranza.
Who was then visiting the Republic and came to Culiacan especially to witness the event.
The mass in La Lomita Chapel was officially by Father Ernesto Verdugo Fálquez, Sinagawa said.
1909. Construction of the Chapel of our Lady of Guadalaupe (La Lomita Chapel, because it is located on a hill).
October 1910. Bless of the old Chapel and the image of the Holy Virgin, by the bishops of Durango, Chihuahua, Hermosillo and Culiacan.

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May 1935.In the middle of a religious conflict they stoned the image of the Virgin placed in La Lomita Chapel.
And that later was taken to the temple of Carmen, where it remains until the now.

January 1956. The Inter-parish Congress of Culiacan is held for the apology of the Holy Virgin.
And coronation of the image that was stoned in the Ángel Flores stadium and with the assistance of the Cardinal of Mexico.
From 1958 to 1967 the original La Lomita Chapel was demolished to construct the current sanctuary.
The project was realized by the architects Jorge Molina and Rafael Escalante.
Who started and always remained as the head of the construction until its accomplishment was the priest Jose Guadalupe Arreola.
June 1974. The sanctuary was raised as a Chapel and its first priest was Monsignor Rogelio Olvera Palomino.
With information from the La Lomita Chapel,  the historian Herberto Sinagawa and the architect Javier Zazueta Russell.
Bell Tower
Built with a very modern architectural design for its time, La Lomita Chapel lacks of some important elements of the original project.
when the temple was reconstructed, they forgot to include the bell tower proposal; as there were not enough economic resources to do it.
What existed there was a small church that by the 1960s was knocked down to build another one.
It was a very small chapel that was totally demolished to build the one that exists today.
Due to lack of economic resources, the bell tower was not completed which was supposed to go on the right side of the chapel.
La Lomita Chapel is a very well built construction, very modern for its time, but has undergone changes over time.

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How this virtual tour was made

The equipment used to make this virtual tour is the following:

  • DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter
  • Phantom 3 4K Camera
  • 3 - Axis Gimbal
  • Nikon D800 Camera
  • Sigma 8 mm fisheye lens
  • Nodal Ninja Ball Joint NN4
  • Manfrotto Tripod 190
  • Remote trigger

The processing software of this image was:

  • Lightroom to process RAW files
  • PTGui to perform the stitching of the image
  • Photoshop for general and local adjustments
  • PanoTour Pro for the virtual tour generation
Taking pictures of La Lomita Chapel virtual tour in the evening time has many complications.

Due to the technical limitations of the DJI Phantom camera.
The lens comes with a single f / 2.8 apertures, so you cannot get the “star” effect of the sun that you can get with a DSLR camera.
On the other hand the slowest speed I could use by the movement of the drone, due to the wind so that the images were not
shaken, was a quarter of a second.
I made three shots in bracketing of each image.

Having at the end 90 photographs and in PTGui, by mixing expositions, I achieved the final image.
A really complex job, but in the end I liked the final result.

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Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa

Traducción al idioma inglés realizada por la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa a través del Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán. English language translation made by Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa through the collaboration of Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán

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