El Paso Victims Will Be Honored With Day of the Dead Altars

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a time of solace

Photo: Unsplash/@sambrand

Photo: Unsplash/@sambrand

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a time of solace. It is also a time of remembrance and celebration of life. The holiday has also, unfortunately, become a marketing tool that takes from its lovely essence. But in the end, it’s still a Latin tradition that deserves our respect. To honor its importance, people all over the country are embracing Day of the Dead to remember those that died this year. Because this holiday is so special to the Latinx community, it’s fitting that they are erecting Day of the Dead altars that pays tribute to the people that died during the El Paso shooting.

On Saturday, November 2, the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. will dedicate their Day of the Dead altar to the 22 people who lost their lives on that tragic day. Enrique Quiroz, a Mexican artist, based in D.C., will be creating the altar which will also honor prominent Mexican figures who passed away this year, including artist Francisco Toledo, humanitarian Miguel León Portilla, and singer José José. The Mexican Cultural Institute’s Day of the Dead annual celebration (click here for more details) also includes Mexican staples including pan de muerto, hot chocolate, folklorico, a Catrinas Corazón show, a photo booth, an ofrenda and more.

The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago is also remembering the El Paso victims for their Day of the Dead festivities. Their altar is also honoring child separations at the border, and children that have died in ICE custody. Click here for more information.

The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas, is another beautiful gallery that will pay their respects to the El Paso victims during their 36th Annual Día de Los Muertos & Community Altars Exhibition with an altar titled “Ofrenda a Nuestra Comunidad Internacional de El Paso” or “Altar to Our International El Paso Community.”

The violence targeted our community,” Mario Villanueva, the museum’s marketing and events associate, said in an interview with the Statesman. “As Mexic-Arte Museum, a safe space that amplifies Mexican American and Latino culture, it’s our duty to let the community know that we hear your pain.”

Other institutions and galleries that are paying tribute to the El Paso victims the Houston Community College, the University of Texas at El Paso’s C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department, and various churches as well.

Coincidently, on Nov. 14, the El Paso Walmart, where the 22 people were murdered, officials there will reopen the store, which will also include a memorial for the victims.

“This will not be a celebratory atmosphere or environment,” Todd Peterson, vice president of Walmart and regional general manager, said to KERA News. “We’ll just simply open the doors.

Peterson also elaborated on the memorial, which depicts a large candle.

“The focal point…will be a grand candela,” Peterson said. “Twenty-two individual perforated aluminum arcs, grouped together into one, single 30-foot candela, symbolizing unity and emanating light into the sky.”

It is truly touching to see how beautifully these 22 souls will be honored during Day of the Dead, and always.

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