"She is dark," I whispered when I first saw our Lady of Guadalupe at the Ponce Cathedral.
"Yes, she is morena and small. This is why she is called La Morenita (little dark skinned female)." Abuela continued: "Most of the Virgins are blond, blue eyed, and white. But La Morenita is all-powerful."
I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I was nine years old when I first encountered La Guadalupe. I traveled with Abuela from my hometown Yabucoa, a small town on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, to Ponce, the island's second major city. We were going to visit Abuela's relatives.
"First things first, " Abuela announced when we arrived. "We will go the Ponce Cathedral to pay our respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe."