13 December 2006

Sandcastle in Puerto Vallarta

Jose de Jesus Ramirez sculpts sandcastles on the beach in front of Puerto Vallarta's famed Malecon. Being Dec. 12, he made an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a revered religious icon in Mexico. Legend has it the dark-skinned virgin appeared to Juan Diego, a poor indigenous peasant, at Tepayac Hill in what's now the northern part of Mexico City back in the 1531.

When not shaping saints out of sand, Ramirez makes sandcastles, which take about 10 hours each to complete, to fit the season. Next week he said he'd craft a nacimiento (nativity scene) then Santa Claus and various reindeer and finally in early January, the three wise men.

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