Pilgrims visit the shrine on a daily basis, bringing candles, flowers, and other small objects.
Candles are an important part of veneration here. Special structures have been built to house them.
Visitors come to the shrine to petition the Virgin for guidance, protection, and forgiveness.
Rakes are used to keep the dirt floor of this shrine clear of debris. Dedicated people look after the shrine.
Plastic flags are seen any time of the year at the shrine. They hang over the benches and flutter in the wind.
Many pilgrims bring retablos, or devotional art, to the shrine and can be understood as prayer in art form.
Statues and images of the Virgin, in her many forms, are found on shelves and candle altars.
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Pinto Lake and the Shrine
Pinto Lake is located in Watsonville, California. Watsonville is primarily a Mexican transnational community just off of the Monterey Bay, about 90 miles south of San Francisco.
A shrine was formed on the edge of Pinto Lake when a woman named Anita Contreras was distraught and walking along the lake in 1992. She experienced a vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe, who appeared in a conch shell. Her image remained in the bark of an oak tree, which can still be seen today.
Thousands of pilgrims have come to visit the public park to pray, meditate and leave tokens of petition or gratitude (or milagros) for the Virgin of Pinto Lake.