About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scottish Muertos Y Los Tapatios

In a dusty corridor of Guadalajara's old Belen cemetery lie two graves that not only receive some special tokens of respect on Dia de Los Muertos, but also here and there throughout the year.

Joseph Johnston and his wife Jean Young came to Guadalajara as paupers where he practiced medicine, often for free. They supposedly won the lottery after praying for 12 nights at midnight and after that continued to practice medicine, still often never charging patrons for his services. Today these two Scots grant righteous desires for wealth and love - something of the anti-Santa Muerte, if you will.

Guadalajara is one of Mexico's most Catholic cities - and probably one of the least Baroque in worship. Folk saints and the like take a second chair to traditional saints and the "whiter" appearances of both Virgin and Lord tend to have more influence here than in Mexico. The Johnston's are something of an interesting compromise in the folk saint world - European in nature and training but thoroughly popular in devotion. D.E.P. Jean and Joseph.

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