y greatest gratification in writing this book came from my visits to
the Juan Soldado shrine in Tijuana, where devotees so openly
introduced me to the mysteries of their faith. They helped me to
that there are many ways of knowing this world. I
could not have understood the beliefs of these people without the help of
many others—some of them disciples of Juan Soldado, most not—on
both sides of the international border. It is impossible to mention every-
one who contributed to the study, but many are thanked in the endnotes
which accompany the text. A paucity of written documentation made the
interviews especially rewarding. History colleagues in Tijuana lent me
their enthusiasm and expertise. My former student and good friend Raúl
Rodríguez González, who teaches and directs the library at Centro de
Enseñanzas Técnicas y Científicas, led the way. José Armando Estrada,
coordinator at the Consejo de Cultura y Arte, and José Gabriel Rivera
Delgado, coordinator of the city’s historical archive, ironed out the
wrinkles in that part of the manuscript pertaining to Tijuana’s past. José
Saldaña Rico, radio personality, teacher, and an aficionado of local his-
tory long interested in the Juan Soldado story, introduced me to individ-
uals directly involved in the events of 1938. David Ungerleider Kepler, a
Jesuit priest with academic training in anthropology who is assistant to
the rector at Tijuana’s Universidad Iberoamericana, helped me to bridge
the gap between Catholic theology and the practicalities of religious life
in the city. Orlando Espín, director of the University of San Diego’s
Transborder Institute and member of its Theology and Religious Studies
Department, guided me through the labyrinth of popular religion, while
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