August 5


Saint of the day:
The Dark Virgin of the Lake

Patron Saint of Bolivia and Bolivian people, Bolivian Navy, National Police of Bolivia

The Dark Virgin of the Lake

Our Lady of Copacabana, also known as the Dark Virgin of the Lake, is revered in Bolivia for a series of miracles she worked in the area. According to legend, in 1576, some fisherman were caught in a horrific storm on Lake Titicaca. As they prayed for their lives, the Virgin Mary appeared and guided them to safety. To show their gratitude, the fishermen built a large shrine housing a statue of the Virgin sculpted by Tito Yupanqui; a man who experienced his very own sighting of the Virgin in the same year the storm occurred. The Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to Yupanqui, who at the time wasn’t a sculptor. He was so moved by the vision that he learned how to sculpt the hand-carved, now venerated, statue. Upon completion, Yupanqui carried the statue 400 miles on foot to Copacabana where he placed it in a chapel. It is said that the crops of those who doubted the statue’s power were destroyed. To this day, the four-foot statue remains safely inside the Basilica de Virgen de la Candelaria, as celebrants believe if they take her outside, there is a risk of another turbulent storm occurring. On festival days, an elaborately dressed replica is taken out instead. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia. She is venerated in Bolivia during her feast day of 2 February, the day of the Purification of Mary, or feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria. She is also venerated on 5 August with her own liturgy and popular celebration.
Our Lady of Copacabana artist unknown








Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, Copacabana, Bolivia







Picante de Pollo

Bolivian Spicy Chicken is a classic and traditional Bolivian chicken dish. Very spicy, rich, and satisfying. This recipe comes from the Cochabamba Region of Bolivia.


  • 3 pounds chicken, on the bone

  • 1/4 cup Aji-no-moto (Peruvian seasoning)

  • 2 cups of white onion, cut into small strips

  • 1 cup peeled and finely chopped Roma plum tomatoes

  • 1 fresh habanero chili pepper (optional)

  • 1 cup green peas

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoons freshly ground fine sea salt

  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled, fine chopped and roasted

  • 2 tablespoons pure corn oil

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 4 oz green peas (canned)



  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

  2. Place the chicken pieces together with all the other ingredients, expect for the peas, in a large casserole dish, lastly pouring broth over everything until completely covered.  

  3. Place dish in the oven and let it cook until the broth boils, and then lower the heat to 325F, and allow to bake for another hour and a half, stirring now and then, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

  4. While baking, watch the level and consistency of the broth, and add some extra broth if and when necessary. You will want the sauce to be gravy like consistency, but you will also want enough of the sauce for serving. Once the sauce is finished stir in the green peas.

  5. To serve, place one piece of the spicy chicken in a large shallow bowl or a deep serving plate, along with some boiled potatoes, pour the remaining sauce over the chicken, and garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with freshly steamed white rice, a side of steamed veggies and a side salad of tomatoes and red onions.