"Because of the birth of baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary was looking for a
place to stay and nobody helped her until the end," said Emilia
Belmontes, a member of St. Joachim Church. "That's why we celebrate, sing
and light candles. It's a tradition to remember what they went through."
Both churches will end their nine-day posadas at 7 p.m. Saturday with
special ceremonies that are open to the public. St. John the Baptist
Catholic Church will have its Saturday posada at a church member's house
at 716 Shalimar Drive, Apartment A. St. Joachim Church will begin its
last posada of the year at 2159 State Ave.
Gricelda Becerra, the family life coordinator for the Spanish-speaking
members of the church, said the Latin American tradition has become
multicultural in Costa Mesa.
"It is part of our tradition and religion, and we want to pass it on
to our daughters and sons, as well as to share it with others," she said.
"It's a chance for us to remember how Mary and Joseph suffered and to
live that time. In the past, some of us have invited people of other
cultures who came because they were curious and then came again the next
year. There is a sense of friendship, of celebrating with friends and
family. Posadas are usually done as a neighborhood, with neighbors
sharing food, talking and celebrating together."