Saturday, July 12, 2008


Adan Arenas Moreno closes the door to the foundry as the statue begins its journey north.

Loaded up

People at street level and upstairs watch the statue being loaded onto the truck.

The statue is loaded.

Gogy, the artist, and her husband Alvaro Enrique Arellano watch as her work is loaded.

The statue is covered with a tarp to protect it during its journey.

Foundry doors open, the neighborhood comes out

When the foundry doors swung open people from the neighborhood came to see the 12 foot-tall bubble-wrapped and crated statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Word had spread around the barrio that something was happening down at the foundry. Something was going on. News photographers and television cameras were there documenting something.
The doors to the foundry open.

Adan Arenas Moreno and Dana Casandra Ramirez Arenas, 8 months, watch the excitement.

Cameras document the scene.

Bubble wrap

Bernardo Peña Silva, left, of P&K Logistics and family members of the movers prepare the bubble wrap.

The statue is ready to be wrapped.

Workers apply the final layers of wrap

Rev. Tien-Tri Nguyen, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Santa Fe watches as the last cover of foam is placed over the statues face.

Stars, rays

Lowering Our Lady

Chains are prepared to life the 4,000 pound statue into a crate.

Workers from Transportes Mora use rope to gently lower the statue.

The statue is wrapped with nylon straps.

Pulling her down.

Workers strain to lower the statue, a risky move that could have exposed any weak welds in the statue. Fortunately it held together strong.

Keeping her steady

Ready to be placed in the crate and wrapped with plastic


Mexican Sculptor Georgina "Gogy" Farias was chosen to create the statue for her obvious creative talent and ability to organize a large project such as this. But maybe more importantly the team from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Santa Fe chose Senora Farias because of her devotion to the image.Gogy leads a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Finish work

The artisans that created the statue worked throughout the night to complete the project for today's loading onto the flatbed. Some looked desperate for sleep this morning. Some were wearing the same clothes as yesterday. They ground, stained and polished bronze continuously through the wee hours while the rest of us slept and toured Mexico City.
Grinding the stars to reveal the glow of the bronze.

Daniel Zeferino cleans up the statue.

Working on the final shine.

Aurelio Zuñiga sprays a protective finish on the statue.

The base of the statue is adorned with the names of the creators.

Manuel Martinez seen through the rays of the sun around the statue.

Daniel Zeferino, left, and Jorge Zuñiga clean the base.

Agustin Zuñiga grinds bronze to bring out the shine.

The artisans work furiously to complete the project.

Daniel Zeferino's reflection is seen in the shine of the sun rays.

Artisans at work

Daniel Zeferino cleans the statue's face.

Something special is happening in there

The normally quiet street where the foundry is located outside of Mexico City was abuzz this morning. Something was happening.

Inside the large steel door of the nondescript building workers were finishing the statue. And the whole neighborhood knew it.

As people walked past they could catch a glimpse of a towering version of their nation's patron saint. Some went and got their children. Some came inside to take a photograph with the statue. Some stood by for hours and watched in amazement as the statue was loaded for her journey to Santa Fe. Families of the workers and artisans came and all watched the events unfold on a normally quiet Mexican street.

Pedro Yael Aguirre Torres, 3, resident of Mexico City