Juramentos

A juramento, or vow, is technically “a deliberate and free promise made to God about a possible and better good,” although most jurados (people who make vows) feel bound in obligation more to a specific miraculous image than to God as an abstract deity. Traditional vows are made to overcome habits and addictions, such as alcohol and drug abuse or smoking, but vows also encompass abstinence from a range of other behaviors. These include crime, gambling, fighting, prostitution, spousal abuse, infidelity, suicide attempts, and casual sex. Jurados make their vows formally with an officiating priest and sign an estampita (vow card) that specifies a period of abstinence.