An exvoto is a votive offering in thanks of miracles received.  The term comes from latin meaning "in (or out of) promise or vow."  Exvotos have been around for thousands of years and can take many forms.  In Mexico, exvotos are small paintings on tin, illustrating miraculous near-misses: accidents avoided, illnesses healed.  They often bear an illustration of the catastrophe itself, some short text explaining the miracle received and an image of the Saint believed to have facilitated the miracle.  These are then left at local shrines or churches.

Above is my own small exvoto, not painted on tin, but merely a simple index card.  I give thanks for the safe passage for myself and all the other passengers involved in what could have been quite a calamatous crash on the dark and rainy night of Feb 10, 2008.

The small silver car at the bottom, is a milagro (miracle) also offered at churches by suplicants and greatful devottees.  It was mere coincidence that it was still lingering in my coat pocket the night of the crash.