Pilgrimage

I grew up in an iconoclastic home and hence pilgrimage to spiritual sites was not part of my upbringing. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I am so intrigued by the religious, social, and economic activities that take place at devotional centres throughout Mexico. Many local shrines in the country have colonial origins, and several of these holy spaces were grafted onto pre-Hispanic sacred geographies. Visiting a given sanctuary housing a Catholic image with a miraculous tradition is truly a delight for the senses: candles and incense burning, music and children playing, the smell of traditional foods, the buying and selling of religious objects and other handicrafts, and the sight of kneeling pilgrims and indifferent onlookers passing through. Much like city centres, local shrines are places that allow us to understand what it means to be truly human. Men and women do not only lay themselves bare spiritually; they live out the ordinariness of life through their conversations, economic transactions, and festive activities. These photo essays on Mexican pilgrimage routes are an entry point into the complex and fascinating mixtures of the sacred and the profane.

THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST OF CHALMA, CHALMA, ESTADO DE MÉXICO, MEXICO

THE VIRGIN OF SAN JUAN DE LOS LAGOS, SAN JUAN DE LOS LAGOS, JALISCO, MEXICO

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