Graffiti

At sites where it is permitted, such as the shrine of the Niño del Cacahuatito and the pedimento of the Virgen de Juquila, graffiti is extensive and consists primarily of brief messages seeking commended care. Typical are phrases like “please take care of us,” “bless my family,” and “protect me.” Graffiti is also written or scratched in wall soot from rising candle smoke, and in these cases is accompanied by another identifier: handprints. Graffiti, like photographs, perpetuates a votary’s presence at a shrine. Other petitions and offerings are removed periodically, but graffiti generally remains until a wall is repainted. It also requires no investment or forethought.