Esquipulas

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image_caption = Basilica of Esquipulas on January 14, 2005 - day before the annual holiday of Black Christ Shrine


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pushpin_map_caption =Location in Guatemala
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subdivision_name1 = Chiquimula Department
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Esquipulas is a town in the Guatemalan department of Chiquimula on the border with Honduras. It serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name.

The town is famous for the Basilica of Esquipulas which houses the Shrine of the Black Christ. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from Guatemala, the United States, Europe and other Central American countries flock to pay homage to the dark wooden image of the crucified Christ, the most revered Catholic shrine in the region.

Esquipulas was also the site of the initial meetings which led to the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, with which a measure of peace finally returned to Central America. Although the 1987 treaty was signed in Guatemala City, it bears the name Esquipulas.

The city of Esquipulas was founded by the Spaniards between 1560 and 1570 with the name of Santiago de Esquipulas. The image of the Black Christ dates back to March 9, 1595, when the Portuguese sculptor Quirio Catano presented it to the mayor of the city.

The cathedral at Esquipulas was proclaimed a Basilica in 1961 by Pope John XXIII, and in 1995, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the shrine, Pope John Paul II proclaimed it "the spiritual center of Central America."

The Church of the Black Christ in El Salvador also has a carving by Quirio Cantano.Juayua (pronounced Why-You-Uh) is a pretty village set in a valley surrounded by several lush mountains and volcanoes in the Sierra Apaneca Llamatepec (mountain range). The Central Park in the middle of the village is lovely with many pretty benches, a large decorated water fountain, and a beautiful bright white church. The church houses the famous Cristo Negro (Black Christ), carved by Quirio Catano in the late 16th century.

In 1987 the Trifinio biosphere reserve was created to protect the unique flora and fauna in the region.

References

External links

* [http://www.esquipulas.com.gt Official website]
* [http://www.cristodeesquipulas.com Cathedral at Esquipulas]


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