Beyond Mexico: Guadalupan Sacred Space Production and Mobilization in a Chicago Suburb
Abstract

Beyond México opens at a meeting of Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran and “American” (presumably devotees with U.S. citizenship) Guadalupanas/os at the “Second Tepeyac of North America” in a Chicago suburb. Taking this Sunday morning gathering at the “Second Tepeyac,” a replica of Tepeyac—the Marian shrine in Mexico City where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531—and early twentieth labor migration circuits to the Chicago area as a point of departure, this article examines the transposition of sacred space across national borders. The essay contends that although both shrines share architectural elements and devotional performances, the U.S.-based sacred space doubles as a political platform and safe haven for undocumented devotees. The “Second Tepeyac” provides naturalization and citizenship workshops, trips to Chicago and the state capital to support immigration reform, and an environment that encourages intercultural dialogue and socio-economic networking. La Virgen de Guadalupe is an inherent part of Mexico’s identity. Her presence in the Midwest, however, does not offer solely a Mexican perspective; the “Second Tepeyac” provides an atmosphere in which communities are encouraged to celebrate their distinct heritages and homelands. Guadalupanas/os acknowledge each other’s national affiliations but their religious principles exceed secular identifications.


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