Ponce’s tropical winter tradition of Las Mañanitas started in 1965. Back then a group of Mexican engineers living in Puerto Rico on a
local mining assignment came to the
, respectfully asking permission to dedicate their songs to our mutual Catholic
, the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Ever since, inspired on their kind offering, and every December 12 at 4:30 am thousands of candle bearers flock into a religious procession gallantly led by Mexican Mariachis, from the Lions Bridge at Lolita Tizol street towards the Cathedral for a 5:00 am Holy Mass.
In 2004, a small group of Ponce’s municipal employees organized themselves into the non-profit religious charity Hermandad Guadalupana de Ponce.
Besides an exquisitely decorated altar hand carried by their now numerous members you will also admire some fine Our Lady of Guadalupe banners by Ketty Camacho García, brilliant Spanish embroider whose pieces adorn at Hermandad de La Macarena and many other prestigious religious brotherhoods in Seville.
With fireworks announcing their arrival, the local Bishop opens the doors to the Cathedral while the Mariachis traditionally honor the Virgin with their beloved folk song rendition of Las Mañanitas.
After the mass, a public breakfast concert is sponsored by the Ponce Mayor right in the grounds of Plaza las Delicias, the City’s main square just outside the Cathedral. Meanwhile, the Virgin statuette is ceremoniously taken back to her home chapel at the nearby
Dora Colón Clavell Urban Park
Enjoy the following video taken on 2009's celebration of Las Mañanitas in Ponce:
Mexicans all over Puerto Rico pay their pilgrimage and join the thousands of devout Christians who always attend
Las Mañanitas de Ponce
, an impressive sample of Christian devotion and popular comradeship.