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All the Agents and SaintsDispatches from the U.S. Borderlands$
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Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631592

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631592.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Miracle Tree

The Miracle Tree

(p.7) 1 The Miracle Tree
All the Agents and Saints

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

University of North Carolina Press

At the suggestion of artist Santa Barraza, the author travels to Concepcion, Texas, to see a “miracle tree.” According to owner Estella Palacios Garcia, it is a Monte de Los Olivos from Jerusalem. Not only does it talk, it has a heartbeat and can heal the ailing. Thousands of pilgrims come from miles around to take solace in the tree, she says. This encounter turns into a meditation on spiritual mestizaje when Ms. Garcia also reveals that she has not been able to drink from her water well in 14 years. Neighboring gas wells have made her water supply so toxic, not even her miracle tree can purify it. This leads the author into an investigation of the environmental degradation of the borderlands.

Keywords:   Santa Barraza, Tejano folklore, South Texas, Chicana/o identity, Miracle Tree, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Milagros, Catholicism, Spiritual mestizaje, Latina/o culture

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