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Pilgrims pay homage to statue of Christ in Panama

Panama's "Festival del Cristo Negro" honours a life-size, dark wooden statue of Jesus, also known as "El Nazaraeno". Throughout the year, pilgrims come to pay homage to this statue of Christ carrying a cross at its permanent home in the Iglesia de San Felipe, a Roman Catholic parish church located in Portobelo, a city on Panama's Caribbean coast. The big celebration takes place every year on October 21. For Portobelo residents, especially those who claim African ancestry, the festival is more than a religious celebration. It is a form of protest against Spanish colonialism, which brought with it slavery and racism.