Vía Christi Theme Park has become and emblematic site for visitors to Junín de los Andes. It offers a Christian message that is easy to understand by those who have not had access to the Bible.
Twenty-two stations that intertwine episodes from Jesus' life -from his birth to his death in the cross- were put inside a pinewood area. They show his thoughts and public lectures before his disciples within a perfect combination of Christian faith and Mapuche beliefs.
We went on a hike around the venue, led by a specialized guide that would unveil the interpretation of each allegory. The trail went uphill and we stopped in front of one of the large size sculptures for a few minutes. Made of concrete, they are located on circular flagstones that represent the sun. The explanations helped us understand why many of the faces have the features of the native peoples.
Built in 1950
Episodes from Jesus' life
Large size sculptures
Made of concrete
We were impressed by the station called The Beatitudes, where we discovered the contemporary faces of Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Mahatma Gandhi and beatified Laura Vicuña and Ceferino Namuncurá. At other stops, the past and present of mankind are combined in the parable of the prodigal son, feeding the multitude, as well as the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
We were told the words pronounced by the author of the sculptures, local architect and plastic artist called Alejandro Santana: “The stations develop passages from Christ's life, the journey of a man and also of a community because at the same time, we are also developing the history of the Mapuche people and the local church. Just like today, when life and cultures are mixed with a universal precept: we are all brothers".
A big white cross sets the end of the circuit and symbolizes light, truth and life, as mentioned in the Bible. Built in 1950, it has identified this hill ever since.
The whole set of sculptures and the critical point of view of Santana let us reflect upon the message of Jesus, to question some human behavior and to take home a feeling of hope.
Mónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
Contact of the excursion or tour
Sub Secretaría de Turismo y Cultura
Padre Milanesio y Coronel Suárez (8371) Junín de los Andes, Neuquén, Argentina
Tel: +54 2972-491160
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