|The shrine has been maintained by Hispanic women as a place for prayer and reflection for more then 120 years. It is located in one of
Tuscon's historic Mexican-American neighborhoods, called Barrio Viejo, just south of downtown Tucson.
El Tiradito, which means little castaway in Spanish, proves the cultural importance of shrines. It is still visited by many aficionados who light candles, offer prayers and make wishes. According to legend, if one makes a wish and lights a candle, the wish will be granted if the candle burns to its base.
The shrine has been revered and preserved by city officials as well as ordinary Tucsonans. For example, in 1936, Tucson's city engineer and architect Ed Herrera built the stone wall that protects the shrine. In the late 1960s, the city developed plans for urban renewal that threatened the site, but Annie Laos and other people in the neighborhood organized a movement to save El Tiradito. Later the Arizona Department of Transportation considered building a new freeway in the area that would involve tearing down the shrine, or relocating it. However, Laos and others worked to help list the site on the National Register of Historic Places. It was placed on the Register on November 19, 1971. Again the shrine survived.
This site is on the AWHT Tucson Walking Tour which begins at the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House. Brochures/maps are available at the Tucson Visitors' Center in La Placita at 100 S. Church Ave.
Wishing Shrine or El Tiradito - © Peggy Price, photographer