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Segment 02: Mexicanos and Home Altars

Identifier: OH E 0182

Scope and Contents

[00:06:10 – 00:12:26] Trevino asks Guillen to speak on the tradition of home altars and her experiences when she went out to these homes as a missionary. She remembers that most places provided for teachings would have a small altar. Most of the houses would have small altars as well. She acknowledges her surroundings by stating she has small altars throughout her home and admits that this is due to her upbringing. Guillen believes that the tradition of home altars comes from Mexico. She had visited towns in Mexico where she noticed altars in places of business. [00:08:06] Trevino elaborates on the question, with regards to people not familiar with the tradition, and asks about the origins of home altars and why people would have them. Guillen acknowledges that this is something she has never tried to explain or “say why.” She says “we just enjoy them, and we just have them, and I guess it’s part of us living. To me, if there’s an altar, it seems like your house is blessed, your children are blessed, or something like that.” [00:09:30] Guillen mentions the use of a mobile altar that they would use to bless houses they were visiting. She hopes to establish an evangelism mission again to renew traditions that were foundational in her neighborhood such as communal prayer and interconnected families.


  • Other: October 22, 1990

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 7 Cassettes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002