In September 2014, the President of Panama paid a fleeting visit to Betanzos, land of his grandfather. Upon entering the sacristy of the church of Santiago, Juan Carlos Varela stopped before a large image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a virgin to whom he is very devoted.
Thrilled with the visit, the prime minister of the Central American country proposed to the parish priest of Betanzos, Santiago Pérez, to move the painting to the entrance hall to turn it into a meeting place with the Virgin. He would finance the curious work and would also collaborate in social and educational programs with the help of the City Council.
To carry out this project, the parish priest of Betanzos contacted GRANDA who was commissioned to design and build an altarpiece for the image of the Virgin that would incorporate an altar under the painting. It had to be a simple altarpiece, without gilding, following the regulations of the BIC (Bienes de Interés Cultural).
In order to promote a meeting place with the Virgin, three removable benches were placed, made of beech wood, without backrest, whose design and manufacture was also carried out by GRANDA and which have been placed against the wall, to facilitate the passage to the sacristy.
The result is a simple and cozy oratory that invites to prayer, meditation and recollection.