It began in 2001, when a group of Catholics in Santa Fe, New Mexico [United States] formed a nonprofit to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fundraising began that year, and an sculptor was eventually selected.
Artist and sculptor Gogy Farias was educated at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas (National School of Fine Arts) in Mexico City, where she currently lives. As one of the city's most established contemporary sculptors, her work has been exhibited around the world.
Gogy's devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe stems from her early years, when as a young mother she became very ill. She prayed to Our Lady for her recovery, and because of this, she was moved to donate her artist fees.
Our Lady's home was to be the Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, considered to be the oldest shrine in North America dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is located in the historic Guadalupe Barrio [neighborhood], on the historic El Camino Real, the 'Royal Road' from Mexico to Santa Fe.
Parishioners from the Santuario in Santa Fe traveled to Mexico City to begin the emotional journey of carefully transporting the 12-foot tall, 4,000 pound sculpture from Mexico City to Santa Fe on the back of a huge transport, metaphorically tracing the steps of the Catholic faith north through 'New Spain', as it was then known (Mexico, Central America, and much of the United States). Along the way, parishioner Deacon Trujillo collected dirt from every church along the route, storing it in baggies, with the intention of adding it to the installation of Our Lady at her final resting place at the Santuario.
After a harrowing lock-down at the border of Mexico and the United States, where she sat imprisoned for some time under bureaucratic dictate, she finally arrived safe and sound in Santa Fe at her home at the Santuario in August of 2008.
You can share the day-to-day journey in a book entitle Our Lady of Guadalupe, A Journey, written by photojournalist Joshua Trujillo, available on Amazon.com.