Parícutin (or Volcán de Parícutin, also accented Paricutín by locals, to more closely match the pronunciation of the native Purepecha name Parhicutini, or spelled unaccented as Paricutin) is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Paricutín is partthe Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, which covers much of west central Mexico.
The volcano began as a fissure in a cornfield owned by P'urhépecha farmer Dionisio Pulido on February 20, 1943. Pulido, his wife, and their son all witnessed the initial eruption of ash and stones first-hand as they plowed the field. The volcano grew quickly, reaching five stories tall in just a week, and it couldbe seen from afar in a month. Much of the volcano's growth occurred during its first year, while it was still in the explosive pyroclastic phase. Nearby villages Paricutín (after which the volcano was named) and San Juan Parangaricutiro were both buried in lava and ash; the residents relocated to vacant land nearby.
At the end of this phase, after roughly one year, the volcano had grown336 meters (1,102.36 ft) tall. For the next eight years the volcano would continue erupting, although this was dominated by relatively quiet eruptions of lava that would scorch the surrounding 25 km² (9.65 mi²) of land. The volcano's activity would slowly decline during this period until the last six months of the eruption, during which violent and explosive activity was frequent. In 1952 the eruption endedand Parícutin went quiet, attaining a final height of 424 meters (1,391.08 ft) above the cornfield from which it was born. The volcano has been quiet since. Like most cinder cones, Parícutin is a monogenetic volcano, which means that it will never erupt again. Any new eruptions in a monogenetic volcanic field erupt in a new random location.
Volcanism is a common part of the Mexican landscape.Parícutin is merely the youngest of more than 1,400 volcanic vents that exist in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and North America. The volcano is unique in the fact that its formation was witnessed from its very conception. Three people died as a result of lightning strikes caused by the eruptions, but no deaths were attributed to the lava or asphyxiation.
Basilica of Guadalupe
The nameBasilica of Guadalupe (also Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Spanish) may refer to one of the two churches built on top of Tepeyac hill, north of Mexico City. The site is nearby the place where it is said Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in front of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. This site is also known as La Villa de Guadalupe or, in a more popular sense, simplyLa Villa.
The new Basilica houses the original tilma (or apron) of Juan Diego that shows the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Thus it is an important pilgrimage site and is visited by several million people every year, especially around December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe's Feast day.
Officially known as the "Templo Expiatorio a Cristo Rey," the construction of the old basilica began in 1531 and wasnot finished until 1709. It is characterized by its doric interior and marble statues of Juan Diego and Fray Juan de Zumárraga. The church was granted basilica status by Pope Pius X in 1904.
The apron of Juan Diego was housed in this church from 1709 to 1974. In 1921 a bomb planted in a flower vase near the altar by a anticlerical activist exploded causing great damage to the interior of thebuilding. The apron survived the incident largely undamaged.
The old basilica was sinking as a result of the weakness of the ground, as the city was built on a former lake. As a consequence a new, more spacious, basilica was built. The old one was closed for many years and repairs have recently finished. It is now again open to the public and perpetual adoration is held there.
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