I kept noticing tiny little shrine-like buildings along the roadways down south and figured they were honoring people who had died there in auto accidents....
But then I started noting that some were painted red and had red flags ...some had piles of bottles, other strange stuff piled around them. So I started asking locals I met and found that these red places were all about Guachito Gil (Cowboy Bob?)...Each person I asked seemed to have a different story about who Guachito Gil was....a young boy who was studying to be a priest and got killed trying to save a child, a young cowboy who got killed by a jealous husband..a pious cowboy who is a saint now and grants cures and wishes....One very fashionable woman sniffed and said all that Guachito Gil stuff was superstitious and she didn't like it one little bit (too pagan for her?). For little ole me raised watered down Presbyterian, it all seemed spooky, strange, and quite touching....all the thought put into these little spots in the wilderness.
I still don't get the cigerettes, coke, full bottles of wine, etc....are they offerings or a tradeoff? "I will quit drinking coke and smoking cigerettes if you grant me this wish"?
If anyone out there knows more about Guachito Gil, adds some comments please!