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“Here to honor Mary:” Hundreds hike Tortugas Mountain for annual pilgrimage

Every year, Jaime Lazos removes his shoes to climb the rugged and rocky terrain of Tortugas Mountain.

“I’m thinking about my mother and just feeling every pebble going up I’m hoping that I get up there,” Lazos told ABC-7.

His mother, Maria, joined him on the journey with hundreds of other devout Catholics.

“It’s a very spiritual feeling coming with all these people in the Lady of our Guadalupe to pray,” said Michael Torres. “It’s just a very spiritual feeling.”​

At the top, Catholics from as far away from California bowed their heads in prayer.

“We’re here to honor Mary, our queen, our mother, our comforter,” said Ricardo Ramirez, the first bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces.

Voices singing “La Guadalupa” filled the air on the brisk December morning.

“She’s been our counselor, our comforter,” Ramirez said. “She’s been with us in good times and in bad.”

Cecy Marquez told ABC-7 she made the hike pregnant. She paid tribute to the virgin Mary with her sister, Mary. The two hiked in prayer for their grandmother.

“It felt like an obligation to come up and honor her and everything that she’s done for us,” said her sister, Mary Marlow.

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