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Guadalupe helps keep Day of the Dead thriving

Photo: Veronica Luna, License: N/A

Veronica Luna

Detail of an altar at Guadalupe


Cantu, who cherishes her childhood memories of going to the cemetery to visit the tombs of her great grandparents and the vendors who would set up outside and sell delicious sugar cane stalks that they would peel and chop into chunks, sees the difference between the Dia de Los Muertos and other holidays in the variety of its expression. “It is a tradition that blends the indigenous Mexican tradition with the Catholic or European tradition — how that happens depends on where it happens. So that in Michoacan or in Sonora the traditions are different. So are they different in San Antonio or in California.”

For Cantu, the observance is all about recognizing the debt of the people who have passed, “seeing how we remember our antepasados, those who have come before us. Acknowledging their lives.”

And the purposes of the altar is twofold: “I want the students who have not experienced this to understand it, and I want the students that are familiar with the tradition to keep dia de los muertos alive.” •

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