While participating in the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Mexico City this past June, one of the projects that my class was interested in was the cult of Santa Muerte.
The cult of Santa Muerte is unusual because it's the cult of the drug lords, the dispossessed, and criminals. There are many shrines to Santa Muerte in the capital city, but Tepito is where the most popular shrines are. Tepito is an infamous barrio and its tough reputation dates back to pre-Hispanic times. The neighborhood is a warren of mean streets and alleys, lined with auto-body shops and small stores. It's here that the prostitutes, drug dealers and petty thieves come to pay their respect to the saint. It's also where the common folk; housewives, cab drivers and street vendors come to make their offerings...tequila bottles, candles, money and flowers.
La Santa Muerte