Our chapter addresses the prevention benefits of the juramento, a grassroots religious-based brief intervention for harmful drinking practiced in Mexico and the Mexican immigrant community in the United States. With origins in Mexican folk Catholicism, it is a sacred pledge made to Our Lady of Guadalupe to abstain from alcohol for a specific time period; in most cases, at least six months. We draw on our data from a subsample of 15 Mexican workers who made juramentos and two priests who administered the juramento to the workers. The sample is from a larger qualitative study on the use of the juramento among Mexican immigrant and migrant workers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Our findings reveal that, in addition to serving as an intervention, the juramento results in secondary prevention—by identifying a harmful drinking before the onset of heavy drinking—and tertiary prevention—by slowing or abating the progression of heavy drinking.
Part of the book: Addictions