Sixteen kilometers from Santa Rosa on the San Pedro highway is a dirt road turnoff to the east leading to Quezailica, a small town centered around the beautiful Santuario del Milagroso Cristo Negro, El Señor del Buen Fin, built in 1660 and declared a national monument in 1987. In the church is a carved wooden Cristo Negro (Black Christ), made by an unknown artist who was apparently a student of famed sculptor Quirio Cataño, who made the Cristo Negro of Esquipulas.
A major Chortí Mayan community in pre-Columbian times, the Quezailica area contains many relics of the Chortí Maya, including an odd rock monolith carved in the shape of a face, which was found hidden in the church’s atrium and is now sitting outside the church.
The town festival, on January 15, is a major event for the entire region. Pilgrims follow an old camino real to the church and the Cristo Negro, with some 50,000 people visiting in a period of five days. Max Elvir of Lenca Travel has arranged a tour that costs US$10, providing transportation to the village of Las Sandías, from where visitors walk on an old camino real the 1.5–2 hours to Quezailica. Max will drop avid hikers in Belén for a longer walk that meets up with the other visitors in Las Sandías.
Getting to Quezailica
One bus drives to Quezailica from Santa Rosa at 1 p.m., every day but Sunday. You can also take any bus to La Entrada and get down at the turnoff to San José. From there you can either catch a rápidito or walk the seven kilometers to Quezailica.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition