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Marc Piscotty Photography
Photo By Marc Piscotty

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Photographer: Marc Piscotty

Photo Details

  • Studio Name: Marc Piscotty Photography
  • State/Province/Region: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Nearest Area:
  • Nearest Town: Denver
  • Gear: Aurora Photos
  • Description: On our most recent trip driving through Mexico to the small town of Sayulita, I started to notice these tiny little roadside cathedrals paying homage to Mexico's most favorite patron Saints dotting the sides of the highway. Far from being overtly religious (I blame Catholic school for that!), I was immediately intrigued by them. I kept an eye out for these capillas (or "tiny cathedrals" as they're called in Mexico) that popped up along the sides of the roadways in the states of Sonora, Sinaloa and Nayarit. Their sizes ranged anywhere from a shoebox to well over three stories tall in every shape and size. Some were simple, easily-constructed brick or adobe structures and others were elaborate and expensive to build. I immediately realized that there was a picture series in these amazing little structures and the items they contained.

After living in New Mexico for more than five years while working at the Albuquerque Tribune, I became acquainted with descansos, the roadside markers (often a cross) signifying the spot where a family member died. The capillas of Mexico are often used in a similar manner dedicated to a pattern Saint and often commemorating the life of a loved one that has passed on. Often there were lit prayer candles and fresh flowers inside, meaning that family members were regularly stopping by with new candles and replacing the wilting or dying flowers. This speaks to the depth of devotion and faith that the Mexican people have for loved ones that have passed and the Saints that they hold dear. I came across numerous capillas dedicated to the memory of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santo Judas Tadeo and even Santisima Muerte, a deity firmly entrenched among Mexico’s lower class and criminal elements and condemned by the Catholic Church.

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