Six days ago, Mario Aguilar, age 21, noticed a brown image on the surface of the cut face of the tree, an image which he says is the Virgin Mary, and which was not there previously.
While Mario Aguilar saw the image as the Virgin Mary, still others saw it as the Virgin of Suyapa (a Marian image and Patroness of Honduras) and wondered if she had come to visit. Some others saw the image as that of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of Mexico. Still others saw an image of Christ.
Since Mario Aguilar discovered the image, people have been coming every day to light candles and pray for miracles. To that end, an impromptu stone altar has been placed on a horizontal face of the cut, on which the candles are placed. One visitor is quoted as saying
"What's important is that these images show us that a God in the heavens has always existed and he protects and loves us."
No Catholic priest has yet visited the site. Municipal officials in Zacapa have promised to erect a fence around the image and build a chapel next to the image.
But overnight the image was attacked by someone with a machete who whacked the image a number of times, including slices across the figure's face. The police are investigating the act as
a criminal act against the faith of the people who live in this zone.
La Tribuna believes that there may be a consensus building in the region that the Virgin appeared to tell people to confront the delinquency in this, and other parts of the country.
"It appears to me that it is a call to reflect, for so much crime and delinquency which happens in Honduras and mainly in these parts which are so isolated,"
said one believer quoted in La Tribuna.
In the meantime, believers continue to flock to the image, as La Tribuna says, making this part of Honduras less isolated.