Animitas. Chile, 2015.
Animitas are roadside shrines found everywhere along Chilean roadsides and in smaller cities and towns. The word, animita – used only in Chile - is a diminutive of the Spanish word for soul. The shrines are often created to memorialize people involved in accidents, or violence from drug or political clashes. Some shrines are not based on tragic events but rather serve as a place of refuge, of rest, or to give thanks and prayers.
We passed many animitas as we drove through the northern Chilean desert. These captured my attention because each was very unique in construction, color, and presentation- serving not only as memorials, but also as intriguing folk art sculptures.