Cross-cultural exchanges are an important component of the blessing that is Border Partners. We experienced this blessing again recently when the Border Partners’ Palomas staff invited our Board of Directors to a wonderful celebration of the Day of the Dead last Friday. Upon entering the office in Palomas, the group was charmed with authentic music, a lovely altar–typical of others all over Mexico–and people in costumes depicting well-dressed skeletons.
Costumed students from the Palomas high school provided an explanation for the elements of this unique Mexican celebration. Standing alongside an altar they constructed for the Day of the Dead, they explained that families make altars to remember – joyfully – and to honor their loved ones who have died.
The altars usually consist of three levels. These levels represent heaven, earth and the world in between. Laid on the altar are a variety of common items which represent the dead:
- candles (to light the way to the altar),
- yellow marigolds (to guide the spirits with their scent),
- salt (to prevent the body from breaking down on it’s journey),
- photos of the deceased and
- some of their favorite foods or objects.
After the presentation by the high school students, we enjoyed “pan de muerto”, a special sweet bread made all across Mexico for this special celebration.
The Board of Directors was grateful for the effort many made to celebrate this day and provide a unique learning opportunity.
Happy Day of the Dead to all! Feliz Dia de los Muertos.
Enjoy these images from the celebration! Click on any image to enlarge it for a better view and more information.