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Ballet Folklorico Latin Reflection performs, December 1999
Ballet Folklorico Latin Reflection perform at the Fiesta de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in front of a large painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe, December 1999 Photo: Nancy J. Nusz

Medford's Dia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

In Mexican communities in Oregon, the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12, when local Catholic churches become centers for worship services.

The Virgin of Guadalupe has been deeply rooted in Mexican culture since 1531, when she reportedly appeared to San Juan Diego on a hillside outside of what is now Mexico City. She captured the hearts and minds of the indigenous people, whom Spanish missionaries were converting to Catholicism, and became the official patron saint of Mexico. Her feast day is celebrated much like a national holiday.

The southern Oregon valley surrounding Medford is home to thousands of Mexican Americans. In 1996 they began an annual celebration of Dia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the Jackson Country Expo Center. More than 3,000 people attended the 1999 program, which started at 4:30am for Las Mañanitas, the singing of songs in honor of the Lady of Guadalupe. A fiesta, more singing, and worship services took place later in the day.

Documentation comprises a text report, newspaper clippings, a cassette recording of Las Mañanitas, a program, and 15 slides.

Originally submitted by: Ron Wyden,Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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