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Santa Muerte: A Folk Saint in Texas (Documentary Short)



2017, Documentary Short, Produced by Texas Folklife

Upcoming Free Screenings and Discussion Panels:

Tues 10/3
Santa Cruz Studio Theater - Austin, TX

Thurs 10/5 Guadalupe Theater - San Antonio TX



Texas is one of the epicenters of devotion to La Santa Muerte, a controversial Mexican folk saint who personifies death. Through the perspectives of devotees, scholars, the media, and members of the clergy, La Santa Muerte: A Folk Saint in Texas explores the rising presence of Santa Muerte in communities across Texas; from its controversial significance as a folk saint, to its condemnation by the Catholic Church, the impact it has on religious freedom and the place it holds among censored female deities.



R. Andrew Chesnut, PhD
Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba, PhD

Priscilla Murr, PhD

Marisela Guevara, Curandera (Folk Healer)

Most Rev. Michael D. Pfeifer, O.M.I. Bishop Emeritus.




La Santa Muerte, a Folk Saint in Texas - TEASER from Texas Folklife on Vimeo.



Produced by Texas Folklife

Executive Producer: Charlie Lockwood

Executive Producer: Cristina Ballí

Associate Producer: Eugenio del Bosque

Camera: Deborah Esquenazi, Eugenio del Bosque

Editing: Eugenio del Bosque

Sound: Deborah Esquenazi, Eugenio del Bosque, Charlie Lockwood

Consulting Humanities Scholars:R. Andrew Chesnut PhD,Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba PhD, Cecilia Balli PhD,Brenda Sendejo PhD,Priscilla Murr PhD,Rachel V. González-Martin PhD

Film Consultants: Andrew Garrison,Daniel Boord,Luis Valdovino.

Interviews conducted by:Deborah Esquenazi,Cristina Balli,Charlie Lockwood

Production Assistants: Marcelo Teson,Michelle Mejia

Research Assistants:Lucero Castillo,Sierra Salazar, Amber Pufal


This project is supported in part by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Texas Folklife

1708 Houston St. Austin, TX 78756

Tel: 512-441-9255, Email:


Texas Folklife is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, EIN: 74-630058. All contributions are tax-deductible.