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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Ribbons of Hope

In March of 2017 I had the opportunity of traveling to Veracruz, Mexico for the second time in my 17 years of existence. The last time I visited was when I was only four years old and I do not remember a lot of what had happened back then. My second visit to Veracruz was a meaningful experience for me because I was able to reunite with my mom’s side of the family that I had not seen in thirteen years. Coming back to Veracruz had given me the opportunity to reconnect with relatives and realize that despite being apart from one another we all shared similar characteristics and interests. During our stay we visited different locations, one of those being the church my mom had grown up with in Orizaba, Veracruz. The above picture illustrates a St. Charbel statue adorned with flowers and colorful ribbons. As the picture shows there are many colored ribbons hanging from a long horizontal bar. These colored ribbons are intentionally put here by people (like my mom and grandma) to petition for something from St. Charbel. Each colored ribbon corresponds to a different petitions like red for money, purple to remove bad energy, blue for strength, etc. The owners of the ribbons hope that one day St. Charbel can one day honor their petitions. It is said that many petitions have been granted, however, one’s faith has to be strong and positive.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Orizaba, Veracruz , Mexico
Camera: LGMS550
Copyright: © Zulema Morales