This annual multi-day day ox-cart pilgrimage is a delightful century old tradition in Nicaragua. The ox-carts will start to arrive two weeks before Holy Week in the city of Nandaime. The carts arrive one by one or sometimes in small groups. They come from all over rural Nicaragua. More than one hundred carts gather in preparation for the annual journey.

The pilgrims begin preparing for the pilgrimage long before the outset of the journey. In most cases whole families participate and only a few of the very old and the very young stay behind to tend to the farms and livestock.

The ox-carts are loaded with necessities such as food, water, cooking utensils, hammocks, clothes and chairs. Dried palm leafs are tied together and formed into a roof that provides protection against the sun and wind. The wagons are decorated in the colours that have become traditional for this pilgrimage: yellow, which signifies the Catholic Church, purple, because of the upcoming Holy Week ( Easter) and blue, because blue is the national color of Nicaragua.

Once on the road the ox-carts join carts making the pilgrimage and soon a long convoy of wagons pulled by oxen, horses or mules has formed. Nightfall finds the pilgrims sharing food with other pilgrims camped out at the side of the road.

The pilgrims travel slowly, inspired by a passionate religious devotion. The long line of ox-carts travels four days to reach its destination: the Popoyupa sanctuary, located in San Jorge, on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. An open-air mass is held upon arrival of the pilgrims. The goal of the pilgrims is to show thankfulness and faith to the image of Nuestro Señor del Rescate de Popoyuapa.

San Jorge can be reached from San Juan del Sur by taxi or bus.