In the La Merced neighborhood in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, costumed characters hit the streets to welcome the feast day of Our Lady of La Merced and reflect the sins of the wearer. In Diego Moreno’s photo series “Guardians of Memory,” he navigates this tradition in his old neighborhood and explores converging cultures by placing these monsters in domestic situations.
“For me, the ‘Panzudos Mercedarios’ have come to represent the inhabitants of my own unconscious and a passage to another realm,” the photographer told The Culture Trip in an interview. “I know they’re not real people but they provide a framework for understanding the human condition, allowing me to reveal secret truths and reflect upon all misunderstood and marginal things.”
See more photos from the series below.