Temple of Santa Muerte in Santa Ana Chapitiro, Mexico

Tucked away in the small Mexican town of Santa Ana Chapitiro is a grim, yet endlessly festive temple devoted to Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte, the dead saint.

A personification of death, Santa Muerte is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. Despite opposition by the Catholic Church, her cult arose from popular Mexican folk belief, a syncretism between indigenous Mesoamerican and Spanish Catholic beliefs and practices.

Since the pre-

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