Yesterday, seven of us piled into Julie’s truck and went to the panteon (cemetery) in La Luz, a small community located in the hills about 20 kilometers from Valenciana. We wanted to spend a few hours in the afternoon together to recognize Day of the Dead.
It was a special afternoon that felt a bit removed and detached from everything. I saw a father and his two young children sobbing at a grave while mariachis played in a circle around them. There were two guys in their twenties reverently sipping on their Caguamas next to the grave of their primo who died five years ago at the age of 25. I watched families carrying large bouquets and placing them gently on grave beds. Joy and laughter stood alongside grief and tears as I made my way through the cemetery spaces. The mariachis went from one group to the next, replaying the same songs. The light felt long and tender, and even cinematic as it skipped across the gravestones, caressed the tops of children’s heads, and washed every blade of grass in soft amarillos.