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In March 2016 James Eddy’s financial woes were mounting. He thought if he could work harder he could improve sales so he began to self medicate. After several sleepless months James convinced himself and then tried to convince his wife that he was under surveillance and a target of massive government investigation. Next year James was hospitalized and held in the psychiatric unit for evaluation. The nurse ordered James to fill a Dixie cup for tests and his discharge was contingent upon compliance but James was ashamed and terrified of his wife’s reaction if she learned the truth so he refused. A Mexican standoff ensued and on the eighth day the doctor blinked and nurse Ratchet cut James loose. It wasn’t long before his behavior became even more outrageous. Two officers came to his house to serve a stay away order with fifteen minutes to pack his bags and leave. The next several months he slept in his car and daily hotels when he could afford it. As time dragged on, and his situation grew more dire, he realized how badly he fucked up. He was wrong about many things. His good looks, charm and vivacious personality had not caught the attention of Angelina Jolie and despite his childhood dogs being named ‘William’ and ‘Harry’ he was not a member of the royal family. He missed his ex-wife and children so much he ached in his heart. James decided it was time to pick up the pieces of his life and turn over a new leaf so the new James told the old James to ‘fuck off.’ On December 31, 2019 he called out to God, his family and his friends and asked for their forgiveness. He got sober and in commemoration of this great miracle this retablo was offered.

San Francisco, California, February 27, 2020

In 2018 James Eddy joined the circus as a funambulist. Funambulism is the skill of maintaining balance while walking along a tensioned wire between two anchored points. In order to perfect his skill James began to practice his high wire act atop craggy mountain tops blanketed in snow and shimmering blue ice. One morning he was as high as a kite when ice crystals suddenly formed on his wire causing him to lose his footing and descend into a deep canyon terminating into a fiery pit near the center of the earth. James was badly hurt and hardly able to walk on his own for more than a year. His situation became dire and he knew he was in too deep so he petitioned San Mateo Gonzalez, Esq. for assistance. Mateo summoned two of his search and rescue apostles, W. Leigh and M. Hinckley, and the team sprang into action. They crossed over the blue ice fields and scaled the craggy mountain peaks before calling out to James and throwing him a life-line. James was dazed and confused but he grabbed onto the rope and began his slow ascent out of the black hole and towards the light at the end of the deep tunnel. This retablo was offered in commemoration of his miracle.

San Francisco, California. 2020

We thank Jesus Malverde for his favors and for one more year of successful deliveries of drugs to the gringos with the submarine that our boss ordered.

Sinaloa, Mexico, 2006

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I thank the Virgin of San Juan for saving from dying when I took drugs and was high. I’m thanking for the opportunity to live and promise not to fell into the drugs again.

The Fat Man
Tacubaya, Mexico, January 6, 2000

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We ask Holy Death to return well after crossing the Arizona desert and delivering the coke to get some dollars for our families in Sonora.

Mexico, Sep. 2017, The Walker

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To the Virgin of Guadalupe I give thanks for saving me of staying in a trip.

Jimy Farrera

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My family members criticize me for studying philosophy in the university for more than 15 years. I thank Saint Jerome for there is this wonderful magic weed that helps me to understand the philosophic concepts. I don’t care what people say and I don’t care about studying so long because with these trips I’ll become the greatest philosopher of the new millennium.


Virgin of Guadalupe, I dedicate you this retablo thanking you for giving me strength to get out from this damn hole where the drugs and bad company kept me. I’m healthy now and realize how much I was losing because of this damn sin. I beg you to never let me fell down again.

Felipe, Tacubaya, Mexico City
December 12, 2013

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Gonzalo Rodriguez, a.k.a. Vampire, used to take too much ecstasy. One day he was listening rock, and the devil appears to him during his trip and began to lick his feet threatening to eat him up. Gonzalo thanks Saint Michael the Archangel who helped him to get out of his hallucination and promises not to take drugs anymore.

Our life was unhappy. With all economic troubles, my only son and I lack communication and I didn’t pay attention who his friends were. His school friend introduced him to drugs, and they start to take them together. In tears I implored the Virgin of Guadalupe to help me save my son. And she heard me. I show my gratitude with this retablo.

Angela del Valle
San Pedro de los Pinos, Mexico City
December 17, 2001

El Zapo dedicates this retablo to the Virgin of San Juan. He was taking drugs with el Pillo when the devil appeared to them and frightened them a lot. He implored the Virgin so nothing bad would happen to him. They promise to not take drugs anymore and ask the Virgin to not leave them alone since they are many like us at the streets.

July 12, 2000

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Isabel E. took a drug and, in her madness, went dancing like crazy on the church tower-bell. She thanks Saint Raymond with this retablo because the priest saved her from the people who wanted to linch her, and she promises to amend.

I, Pedro Fuentes, and all my crew thank the Virgin Protectress for we managed to disembark safely 30 tons of cocaine coming from Cali at the beach of Mazatlan.

March 4, 1988

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