ACAPULCO, Mexico – Dozens of dolls, teddy bears and bouncing balls pile up on the tomb of Raul Gonzalez, better known as Raulito, a Mexican boy who died when he was just 10 months old and to whose tomb the residents of Acapulco visit in the belief he will help them have their prayers answered.
Raulito, who died on Feb. 2, 1933, is buried in San Francisco Cemetery next to his brother Elivier, who died five months later.
The tomb of the “miracle boy” was forgotten for a long time until about 18 years ago, when he became a symbol of hope for local residents.
“I’ve asked the boy for things and he has given me all I asked for... and I keep on asking,” EFE was told by Francisca Jaime Camacho, an 80-year-old lady with gray hair and a wrinkled face, who thinks the little one, after being asked for so many favors, “might get mad.”
That’s why “we have to take it calmly,” Francisca said, adding that she doesn’t take him candles because what Raulito wants are “toys, little cars and rattles.”
According to popular belief, the boy gained fame when, almost 20 years ago, a woman from the Sierra de Atoyac mountains came to the cemetery crying and carrying her 4-year-old daughter in her arms. The little girl was on the point of dying.
The woman asked Susana Curiel, administrator of the cemetery for more than 23 years, for the whereabouts of the tomb of the baby boy abandoned by his family. The administrator pointed to the tomb of Raulito, which was very near the entrance.
For more than an hour, the lady knelt and prayed that her daughter’s health might improve, though doctors had said the girl wouldn’t make it through another day, being very weak from two heart attacks.
After saying her prayers, the woman went on her way, without forgetting the promise she made at Raulito’s tomb: if he saved her daughter, she would return to express her gratitude.
That didn’t take long, for in about a month and a half she returned to the cemetery with the little girl walking beside her. The woman was carrying candy, toys and bouquets of flowers to express her thanks to Raulito.
“The toys you see here are gifts from those who came to ask him for a favor,” Curiel said
Typical of many visiting Raulito’s tomb, which now has a roof over it, are people like construction worker Anselmo Venegas, who with much faith and devotion told what he was asking of the boy: “That he find me work, I want to work, and then I’ll wait and see if I get what I’m asking for.”
All the toys collected during the year on the tomb are given afterwards to needy children, since Susana believes that after leaving them there too long they’d be of no use to anyone, and little Raulito would like other kids to also be happy.