Originally created 10/24/98

Following Black Christ



PORTOBELO, Panama -- Thousands gather in the streets of Portobelo, 80 km (50 miles) north of Panama City, Panama, following the statue of the Black Christ this past week on its feast day.

This three century old celebration comes from the story of the sculptural figure of Jesus Christ that appeared in the bay during a cholera epidemic. Its arrival is credited with the ending of the epidemic.

Since then, thousands have made pilgrimages to see the figure that was found and brought to shore by two slaves who were fishingalong this Caribbean coast.