Bless you and your little car too!

On the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, in the town of Copacabana (nope not that one), resides La Virgen de Copacabana who provides blessing and protection to vehicles.  If your car is in need of blessing this is the place to get it done.

Ready for a blessing!

The Benedicion de Movilidades (Blessing of vehicles) takes places twice everyday, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Thinking that it would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to have Marlin blessed by a priest of the church of the Virgen who protects cars, we rolled up on a Saturday morning eager to take part.

How to get your car blessed:

  1. Pull up in front of the church, park where the attendant tells you to.
  2. Hire car washer.  Cost: 10 Bolivianos ($1.50 USD)
  3. Buy your blessing ticket in the church. Cost: 10 Bolivianos ($1.50 USD)
  4. Head to the stalls in front of the church to purchase the decorations for your car.  You can mix and match but a completa (a complete set which includes an arrangement of fresh flowers for the front of the car, two bouquets for the side mirrors, and a garland). Cost: 20 Bolivianos (under $3USD)
  5. Don’t forget to buy a bag of flower petals and fireworks and some drinks for after the blessing. Cost: 15 Bolivianos ($2.25 USD)
  6. Wait for the priest.
  7. Once the priest has blessed your car, the village women to come around and give the car a second blessing this time to the pagan gods. Cost: 10 Bolivianos ($1.50)
  8. Light the fireworks, throw some petals and have a drink.

Total Cost: $9.75 USD for one heavenly blessed vehicle.

Car Blessing in Copacabana from Kels M on Vimeo.

Ironically enough we experienced our first car incident three hours later in La Paz.  Nothing major just a minor scrape.
Cost: 20 Bolivianos ($3 USD)
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  1. lu’s avatar

    this looks like so much fun!

    i am becoming envious while sitting here at my kitchen table, working from home, and daydreaming about future adventures (and not the kind that involve shopping for a coffee table or how i will survive a second canadian winter IN A ROW!)

    xoxoxo

  2. Kelly’s avatar

    Guys, I’m speechless….that is just awesome.

  3. Kristin’s avatar

    In my opinion the drivers in Bolivia are even worse than they were in Peru – hard to believe but true! So I wasn’t too surprised by your minor scrape…safe driving!

  4. Oisin’s avatar

    I have never seen anything like it, what a funny experience. This must have been brilliant. Great post keep them coming.

    Cheers Oisin

  5. Luiz’s avatar

    Just saw you guys in this crazy traffic jam in Sao Paulo. I am in the
    same road you are now.

    You both are inspiring!! Have a nice drive and take care!

    Luiz

  6. tom’s avatar

    Hey Luiz,

    Thanks – we had a lot of fun in Sao Paulo, so much traffic … Crazy! We are heading up to the Paulista coast to hang out and surf for a few days in Itamambuca.

    Cheers!

    Tom

  7. kels’s avatar

    Hi Oisin… yeah it was amazingly fun to participate in, the best part was how into it all the Bolivians are. The shared drinks and laughs with us after the blessing.

    Nice site… need anyone to review any of those boutique hotels ;)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. kels’s avatar

    Kelly,

    It really was a good time… if you are ever in Bolivia with a car you know what to do!

  9. kels’s avatar

    Lu!!!

    I think you are due for a visit for sure. See you soon?