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La Villa: Mexican faith and folklore in one place

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A must for tourists in Mexico City next December 12th is to visit the Basilica of Guadalupe for a close sight of the Catholic traditions linked to the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day. It is one of the most crowded - and fascinating- religious celebrations in the world, but the event worth the long walk to be there.

The celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day at the Basilica – or La Villa, as it’s also known- is not only a milestone in the Latin American religious traditions, but it’s also a great occasion to enjoy the Mexican folklore in one place, in a single day.

Every day, visitors in Mexico City have the chance to go to see one of the most ancient Catholic churches in our hemisphere, but only a few are there to spend the main celebration day watching the romería activities.

It’s an impressive experience to watch the pilgrims arrival in the temple, the folkloric dancers, the mariachi musicians and hundreds of sellers of traditional food and souvenirs, among other unique cultural, religious and even non-religious events.

This 2013 Mexico City’s authority expects some 6 million people to arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe along the day, so it's good to have a basic plan to enjoy the visit in a safe environment. It is suggested to hire a guide with experience in religious tourism, so you'll learn amazing details about the history of La Villa. Ask the concierge of your hotel to find the right tourists guide for you.

It's recommended to wear lukewarm, comfortable clothing, coats and a cap for sun protection. Use a sunscreen lotion on the face and arms. Do not carry jewels, and do not show off your tech gadgets, but take as many photos as possible!

Keep your money and valuable items in safety body purses, bring your own bottles of purified water and buy food only in well established businesses.

It would be better not to take the little kids with you because the area it’s usually overcrowded. However, have in mind that there is always an official safety network with social workers, paramedics and police officials, all wearing fluorescent vests, to help if needed.

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