Pilgrims have been paying homage to Panama’s “Festival del Cristo Negro” honours a life-size, dark wooden statue of Jesus, also known as “El Nazaraeno”.
Throughout the year, pilgrims come to pay homage to this statue of Christ carrying a cross at its permanent home in the Iglesia de San Felipe, a Roman Catholic parish church located in Portobelo, a city on Panama’s Caribbean coast.
The big celebration takes place every year on October 21.
For Portobelo residents, especially those who claim African ancestry, the festival is more than a religious celebration. It is a form of protest against Spanish colonialism, which brought with it slavery and racism.