December 12 is the biggest day of the year for St. Joseph’s church in Yakima. It’s standing room only as more than 1000 people gather to celebrate Mexico’s Patron Saint, la Virgen de Guadalupe.
After the service, a mariachi band serenades the congregation. Volunteers serve up Menudo and Mexican hot chocolate. There’s only one thing missing: parishioners who attend the English mass.
Though the Catholic Church has long been known as a haven for immigrants, many parishes remain divided along ethnic lines even after decades of demographic change.