Spanish Pilgrimage in the USA

Horses in El Rocío / Juan Manuel Sanz - ICEX

Horses in El Rocío / Juan Manuel Sanz – ICEX

The Virgen del Rocío is the object of much devotion in the Spanish province of Huelva (Andalusia), particularly when it comes time for the annual springtime romería or pilgrimage to her home, the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Rocío in the village of El Rocío, in which masses of pilgrims participate every year.

Surprisingly, this iconic religious figure also played an important role in South Carolina this past holiday weekend in a shadow event organized by Spanish transplant Miguel Coves (from Alicante) and his wife Dorothea Darden, which takes place annually on the couple’s 500-acre Spanish horse breeding farm in this southern state.

Festivities began on Friday night and lasted through Monday evening – three days during which attendees feasted on Spanish gastronomy including salmorejo, pork sausages, Spanish ham, paella, tortillas and more.

Pilgrims wandered through pine forests and down sandy trails to visit the farm’s hermitage in honor of the Virgin del Rocío, accompanied by flamenco music and dancing and all the while enjoying some of the traditional Spanish tapas prepared at the farm’s on-site restaurant, El Tingladillo, for a truly non-traditional Memorial Day weekend.



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