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Episode 1: La Virgen Comes to Marfa

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The altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Sanchez backyard
Josh Franco
The altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Sanchez backyard

A lot of people call the journey to Marfa a pilgrimage. Tourists come from all over the world, driving hours through the desert to see places like Prada Marfa and Ballroom. Most notoriously, they come to see Donald Judd’s artwork at the Chinati Foundation.

On their way to the foundation, visitors pass right by a lesser known pilgrimage site, in the backyard of Ester Sanchez. An apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on Ester’s pecan tree in 1997. And people came from around the world to see it. In this episode, you’ll hear the story of the Virgin’s arrival, and what happens when two pilgrimages, two Marfa worlds, collide.

Produced by Zoe Kurland, Sally Beauvais, and Elise Pepple, in collaboration with Josh Franco.

Music: Refraction, Pulsars, and Encounter by Podington Bear.

Zoe Kurland is a senior producer at Marfa Public Radio.
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