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Discover The Miracle of 'Milagros' in Puerto Vallarta

April 16, 2019

Milagros, which means "miracles" in Spanish, have been used for over 4000 years as a way for indigenous people to express gratitude for health, home, for blessings and answers to prayers.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - So I was walking by this shop in downtown Puerto Vallarta a couple of years ago when I was attracted to the hundreds of wooden shapes hanging on the walls. They were covered with metal icons of every symbol you could imagine... from hands, to hearts, to animals, to people praying, fish and eye glasses and other objects.

I was drawn to a green heart with a marijuana leaf in the middle! What? That's when I met Lupita and her husband Francisco who make these objects called milagros. She then proceeded to tell me the relationships she saw between all the icons on the heart I liked.

Turns out milagros, which means "miracles" in Spanish, have been used for over 4000 years as a way for indigenous people to express gratitude for health, home, and food, for blessings and answers to prayers.

Thought to have originated somewhere in Europe, milagros were brought to Mexico by the conquistadors in the 16th century. It is said Hernan Cortez brought a solid gold scorpion icon with him after he was stung by one, not wanting to get stung again!

Today, Francisco makes the metal icons using wax molds, which he then hammers onto the wooden forms to create amazing figures. Lupita has been able to use her sixth sense to interpret the meanings of these icons on any individual piece. You can even make one of your own and she will interpret for you.

So back to my green heart and the marijuana leaf! Seems I should consider using this herb to improve my skin lesion. And green is the color of the heart chakra which is connected to the lungs and grieving. I had pneumonia a while ago after a dear friend died. They are all connected, Lupita tells me, and are right there on my green heart.

I have become good friends of Francisco and Lupita, compassionate caring people who have been doing this work for 31 years. I stop by every week just to see if something else calls me. Join my Historic El Centro walking tour to visit this shop.

Sandra Cesca has traveled the world, but found herself returning to Mexico more and more. She moved to Puerto Vallarta in 2008 and never looked back. She currently offers eight different Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours, which include history, architecture, culture, artisanal crafts and ecology. Her photos and articles can be found on;; Instagram and Facebook. She can be contacted at sandra.learn.vallarta(at); or