The chuch el Niño del Cerrito is located in Santa Ana Nopalucan, in Tlaxcala, Mexico. I have found different version’s of this church’s history on the internet, particularly one that states its establishment in 1927 [example]. I will only be including, however, the story I heard while I was there.
According to my source, one day a young boy appeared by the church’s original structure in 1952. No one knew where he came from or where he went to afterwards, but complied when asked that for a church with three wings to be built on that site. Once it was believed that the boy had spiritual powers the church begun to receive an abundance of offerings in gratitude or expectancy of miracles.
As you can see, almost every available surface is covered with toys or other offerings. As a result, church officials try to make extra space for the overwhelming amount of offerings. The following photos were taken in a room to the left of the church’s altar space.
An Ongoing Tradition
The importance of the church of El Niño to its local community is demonstrated by the continuous influx of offerings. In order to cater to this influx, a special room is available to accommodate new offerings, which may or may not end up along side the offerings shown in the above photos. If you pay close attention, however, it seems like the room also serves the purpose of demonstrating the variety of offerings that have been offered over the years. It can be entered through the church’s side courtyard or through the right side of the altar, and is located next to an outdoor room where candles may be lit for the Niño.
These photographs were taken on March 4, 2012 as a part of the Ex-votos da Américas project. The field visit would not have happened without the help of Claudio, Suzanna, and Pedro.
-Natália Marques da Silva.