25¢ Cultura

I like vending machines, especially the ones near the door at grocery stores. You know the ones I’m talking about, they’re usually painted an eye-catching red and contain candy, cheap toys or stickers in plastic balls. I think most parents hate those things. I’ve seen children pulled away from the vending machines crying and the parents saying, “No! We’re not wasting money on junk! Let’s go!”

I personally think 25 cents is a small price to pay for a little fun, and I’m just as likely as the kids to run to Carlos, pidiendo una “cora”. (I just aggravated a dear friend by pronouncing/spelling “quarter” like that. Hee hee. Sorry, Ángel.)

Wherever we go, I always check the vending machines to see if there’s anything new or exciting. I especially love when the growing Latino population is reflected in which candies or toys they chose to offer.

That being said, I present to you my new favorite find… “Gold” Patron Saints necklaces.


  1. I totally check out the little vending machines too! remember the ‘homies’??? well, in houston at a taqueria i saw that they had ‘santos’ and they were by the ‘homies’ people. collect them all! that was my most awesome cora-machine find. the virgen de guadalupe was the hard to get one. go figure.

    look, i found a blog post about them here which has a pic: http://www.blogadilla.com/2009/02/10/santos-50¢/

    • @ Cynthia – I do remember the lil “homies”! … I’m sure some would argue that they were racist and perpetuated Latino stereotypes, but I thought they were kind of fun/cool.

      Thanks for the link to that blog. LOL. I never saw these little saints. I would have wanted La Virgen, too. I guess they know which is most popular and only put a couple in the machine so that people waste their money trying to get the one they want.

  2. Yep… my “coras” and victims of those machines. My mom used to get the “boligomas” for my son. They both loved to play with them so nw everytime I see them, they make me smile.
    But that religious Bling Bling…. never seen anything like that. Did they have San Judas Tadeo? He is my hero!

  3. Love these! I still go and check out vending machines just to see what they offer. I’ve always headed to these vending machines with my sons to check them out.

    I’ve got quite a few Homies as well as the Mijos (Homies wannabes) and temporary tattoos. I liked the cora- I remember as a kid, asking por un die-me myself.

    Sometimes I’ve encountered inexpensive key chains and other religious bling things as well. I’ve got a couple of sacred bleeding hearts and Jesus con las espinas looking upward in key chain pattern.

    Much of what I’ve seen as miniature devotional items goes back to dashboard altars on buses and trucks in Mexico. Great stuff, just miniaturized for portability and prayer on the go.

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