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Welcoming dead loved ones to dine and celebrate. Photo by Lourdes Almeida

Welcoming dead loved ones to dine and celebrate. Photo by Lourdes Almeida

:: Often times, an individual narrative can lead to a larger cultural story. And sometimes, the storyteller may even become the story themselves.

Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is an important national Mexican holiday where people honor their lost loved ones by throwing them a party. Celebrated on November 2nd, Dia de Los Muertos is a sort of dinner party for your dead loved ones, prepared with all of their favorite food, drinks, and delicacies. On November 1st, an altar is set up for the honored guests. The belief is that at 12 AM on November 2nd, your dead ones will arrive to dine and celebrate with you. 

This year, Dia de Los Muertos was especially meaningful for Diaz-Cortes. In late October 2012, she traveled to Mexico City to visit her dying grandmother. Since she was in Mexico close to such a significant holiday, Diaz-Cortes figured she’d do some investigating. “Because my grandmother died during the Day of the Dead season, I felt that I needed to make it very personal. The story became about me. I became very involved in it," said Diaz-Cortes.

Diaz-Cortes's story serves as a sort of tribute to her grandmother, reflection on her death, and a documentation of Dia de Los Muertos. You can hear more about her story here.