The 4000 Riders of Cristo Rey - México
9 days - 3 days of Pilgrimage on Horseback & 3 Days of trail riding in Rural Mexico
Join the thousands of Mexican Cowboys on Pilgrimage!
03 till 11 January 2023
Each year in January and since 1956, devout Mexican Catholics have followed the hoofprints of martyrs through scraggly desert to the foot of a 23-metre statue of Cristo Rey. This year we are getting you in the saddle to take part of this tradition! It doesn't matter whether you are religious or not, this is a complete immersion in the Mexican culture!
You will be one of the first foreign riders to participate at this equestrian pilgrimage of 4000 cowboys! The brotherhood “EL TORREON” will welcome you with open arms and make you feel at home immediately in their select cavalcade congregation. After having spent the first night in a colonial Jesuit Hacienda in the mountainous area of Sierra de Lobos, the Torreon fraternity (Hermandad in Spanish) will be kicking of the procession from the community of "El Torreón. You and dozens of sharp dressed Mexican Pilgrims will ride under the command of General Don Rubén Rostro.
It will take 2 days of riding to get to the foot of the monument of Christ the King, on the hill of Cubilete and considered the Geographical center of Mexico. Riding through typical Mexican semi-desert landscapes of the State Guanajuato the procession will start to grow and to grow by the hour, as riders from all over Mexico are heading the same direction. This time all roads do not lead to Rome but to Cristo Rey in Cubilete! On day three you can almost hear the beating of the 4000 excited hearts of both the devoted Cowboys and horses.
Today is their most important day of the year! From the saddle and looking at Christ the King, they take off their hats and pray. Today they commemorate “La Cristiada”. (*see history description below) and also the miraculous healing of the teenager Nicolas García who was terminally ill in 1954. Nicolas wanted to ride one more time and did so to the foot of Cristo Rey where he asked for help. 2 years later the pilgrimage to Cristo Rey arose and Nicolas died only a few years ago when he was already in his eighties.
Even if you are not a believer or of a different faith, seeing these thousands of cowboys pray on horseback makes you humble and even tremble. Respect each other is the most important thing; being Christian, Muslim or Jew, we are all human and bleed the same color Red.
During 3 days you have shared with your new Mexican friends their traditions, their gastronomy, their music and their beliefs. An experience that you will remember forever.
But no worries, the journey and special moments are not over yet! After saying goodbye to our brotherhood, we continue our horse-riding trip for the next 5 days with our small group of 14 foreign horsemen & women!
During the trail ride through rural Guanajuato you will discover picturesque Mexican villages, communities of the Chichimeca indigenous people, old silver mines and even several ghost towns. You will be trotting bridle paths of the Mexican Revolution & Independence and taste the excellent Mexican cuisine at each break. You will spend the nights in colonial haciendas, in Ranches and typical posadas and even one night in a real but comfortable tented camp.
And last but not least we will end this 9-day trip with a real Mexican Party in the city of Leon!
* A little bit of History:
The Cristero War (1926–29), also known as La Cristiada took place between 1926 and 1929 due to the anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Civil war erupts when newly elected Mexican president Plutarco Elías Calles begins a violent crackdown against the country's Catholic faithful. Churches are being set on fire, Catholic priests murdered and countless faithful peasants killed, then having their bodies publicly hanged on telegraph poles as a warning to others.
The rebel group Cristeros ("soldiers for Christ") is created to fight against Calles. Their battle cry is "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" ("Long live Christ the King"). The rebel leader, retired General Enrique Gorostieta, an atheist, takes an interest in young José and the boy soon becomes his protégé. Later while fighting against the Federales, José is captured in a firefight and tortured to force him to renounce his belief in God. When he resolutely defends his faith, he is executed. The next year Gorostieta is killed in a battle at Jalisco after becoming a Catholic. In 1929, however, agreements were made to restore religious freedoms. Pope Benedict XVI beatified José in 2005 along with 12 other martyrs of the religious persecution.
La Cristiada is such a strong happening in Mexican history that Hollywood made a movie about it. The movie is called “For Greater Glory – The true story of Cristiada” with Andy Garci>)
ATTENTION: This trip is a Unique opportunity! No one else but we organize this happening for foreign guests! Places are limited! (14 maximum) Book now!