The Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico City

My friend Joaquina took me to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a long, exhaust-choked bus ride out to the edge of Mexico City. I had been in the city a little over a year, researching an anthropology thesis on the changing role of women across three generations in a small village just outside of town. Joaquina was a member of a family I had come to know. She worked as a street vendor in Mexico City. Her husband had left her and their four children, but she had a boyfriend, and together they lived with another family of six in a single room behind a set of public toilets.

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