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I bring this retablo as my eternal gratitude to the Virgin of the Solitude for helping me to overcome this sin, because before I spent my life and my health on drinking all days long in bars and canteens. But now I’m sober and even got a job.

Luciano Mendoza \ Oaxaca

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This retablo is for the Miraculous Virgin because she helped me to get a stable job in a bar in the capital. Besides that I don’t need to wake up early to scrub the floors, I receive good tips dancing for the clients and playing the marimbas naked.

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1915, Chiautenpan, Plutarco Sandoval met a bull on his way out of a bar. The bull started to chase him. Plutarco thanks the Holy Virgin for the bull didn’t get him and he only shat his pants out of fear.

Agustin Meneses has a bar which was going bankrupt because of lack of clients. Then he decided to put topless waitresses. He thanks Saint Jude with the present retablo because a lot of people come here now and the things are going well.

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Teofilo Perez was in a bar when one of his mistresses came there. She wanted to cut his balls for being a womanizer. But he implored Saint James and now thanks him for escaping such a peculiar danger.

Tlaxcala, 1921

There was a girl whom I liked very much. But I was scared to tell her. So one night I went to the bar to drink some tequila in order to have courage. Then I went to sing her a serenade, but I was so drunk I got a wrong balcony and sang it to the old maiden of the town. I give thanks to Saint Rita because neither she nor her family recognized me, otherwise, if I had kept singing, they would’ve married me. I promise to be brave in declaring my love feelings to a woman.

Serapio Herrada
Tehuacan, Puebla

March 14, 1965, I saw my husband coming out of a bar with a woman of bad reputation. I felt very hurt, and my husband promised me to not go out with other women. I thank the Virgin of Guadalupe because he is keeping his word.

Jovita Fernandez, 34, was dumped by her husband. She was left alone, without job and with 5 kids. She opened a bar, and she was doing so well that she bought a house and payed for all her kids’ education. She thanks the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and offers this retablo.

Tonala, Chiapas, 1970

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The Day of the Dead, the dead came out of their graves to have fun. They choose my tepacheria place to dance and play music. I was scared, and all customers who were alive ran away. I thought I was going to earn nothing and only to lose money that night. But thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe the skeletons turned out to be good clients. When they went away—because of the rooster—they left me various gold coins which were very valuable.

Tepacheria is a bar where they serve tepache, a fermented beverage made from the pineapple peel.

I was very hurt because my boyfriend had cheated on me with another woman. So the other night, I went to drink at the bar. But I drank too much and totally lost my good sense. The next morning, I woke up in a motel room with a stranger. I thank Saint Elias for I didn’t get pregnant nor did I catch any sexually transmitted disease. I promise to be more responsible and not to do such stupid things anymore.

Ericka R.
Mérida, Yucatán

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Jasinta Barrales, being very drunk, fell down on her way out of the saloon. She was also very fat so they couldn’t pick her up. Her friend La Pitaya (?) thanks Saint Charbel for they managed to drag Jasinta to her shack and she wasn’t arrested.

1925

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Lord of Chalma, thank you because my wife with my kids have returned to me. She left me because I used to get drunk, to spend all days in the bar and to beat her and kids, when I came home. When I was all alone, as a dog, I realized I couldn’t live without them. I stopped drinking and begged her with tears to come back. There have been 10 years without me drinking.

Jeronimo Urbina
Tacubaya, Mexico City, 1990

The bar “El Atorón” was at the point of bankruptcy. Eve flies didn’t visit it. But the lady-owner prayed to Saint Martin, and things went better again. She thanks the saint with this retablo for her place prosperity.

Gudelia Coyotzi
Cholula, 1939

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