AP PHOTOS: Haitians make pilgrimage, pray for better future

April 16, 2017
By `
Published April 14, 2017

Associated PressA woman stretches out her arms in prayer as balances a stone on her head as a form of penance during a Good Friday ritual, in Ganthier, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017. Thousands of Haitians flock to mount Calvaire Miracle with rocks balanced on their heads, to pray and seek renewal in one of the spiritually-steeped country’s biggest annual pilgrimages. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)A woman stretches out her arms in prayer as balances a stone on her head as a form of penance during a Good Friday ritual, in Ganthier, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017. Thousands of Haitians flock to mount Calvaire Miracle with rocks balanced on their heads, to pray and seek renewal in one of the spiritually-steeped country’s biggest annual pilgrimages. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

GANTHIER, Haiti –  Arms raised to the heavens, tens of thousands of Haitians have flocked to a craggy hillside to pray and seek renewal in one of the spiritually steeped country’s biggest annual pilgrimages — one of many exuberant expressions of Good Friday devotion across the Americas.

Many are raising passports to heaven pleading for visas. Others pray for a loving relationship or cures for ailments.

Some march along a dusty trail with rocks balanced on their heads, which they eventually discard, as if casting off sin.

Delano Demosthenes is among those praying for calm when a U.N. stabilization mission concludes in mid-October. The teacher says he is appealing “for a stable, peaceful Haiti.”

The pilgrimage comes a day after the U.N. Security Council voted to end a 13-year peacekeeping operation in Haiti.

  • Thousands of Haitians flock to mount Calvaire Miracle, some with rocks balanced on their heads as form of penance during a Good Friday ritual that is among the country’s largest annual pilgrimages, in Ganthier, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017.   People appeal for blessings and pray for a peaceful country. Some raise their passports to heaven pleading for visas. Others pray for a loving relationship or cures for ailments. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

    Thousands of Haitians flock to mount Calvaire Miracle, some with rocks balanced on their heads as form of penance during a Good Friday ritual that is among the country’s largest annual pilgrimages, in Ganthier, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017. People appeal for blessings and pray for a peaceful country. Some raise their passports to heaven pleading for visas. Others pray for a loving relationship or cures for ailments. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

    Parishioners reenact Jesus Christ's final hours during the a Good Friday event in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017. Millions worldwide attend mock crucifixions and passion plays that mark the day Jesus was crucified, known to Christians as Good Friday. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

    Parishioners reenact Jesus Christ’s final hours during the a Good Friday event in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, April 14, 2017. Millions worldwide attend mock crucifixions and passion plays that mark the day Jesus was crucified, known to Christians as Good Friday. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)  (The Associated Press)

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