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November 4, 2005 01:54 PM

Dia De Los Muertos

Day 29

While Mexican children have, for obvious reasons, embraced the concept of free candy that Halloween offers, The Day of the Dead is a holiday that includes entire families along with their dead ancestors that has roots going back long before the Spaniards arrived with their catholic and pagan holidays.

We were lucky enough to tear ourselves away from the year round spring break of Cabo San Lucas to the much quieter and dustier colonial village of San Jose Del Cabo 33 km East for Dia De Los Angelitos (All Saints Day) on Nov 1st and Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) on Nov 2nd.

In San Jose Del Cabo, most of the excitement can either be found in the town square or out at the city cemetery where tombs and gravestones are extravagantly decorated with flowers and pretty much any other offering you could imagine would help dead souls feel welcome. Apparently this is the only day each year that they can visit - so why not treat them to a decorative feast?

What is particularly surprising is that the holiday, though it deals with death, doesn't appear to be morbid in the least. It truly is a celebration; a homecoming. Our Swedish Inn Keeper, who'd been living here 18 years, mentioned that Mexicans, more than any other culture seem to treat death with little sadness.

As the sun was setting, we were the only obvious foreigners at the cemetery along with what seemed to be the entire town. These are the photo opportunities that tear me apart as I mourn my broken camera. Children played, girls fussed over the decorations and flowers while old women armed with straw brooms fought a losing battle with the dust. All the while the lords prayer en espanol permeated the air; competing only with the vendors selling all sorts of balloons and strange snacks from decrepit bycicles. Had my belly not been full of marlin from a stir-fry we whipped up earlier in the evening, I would surely have tried them all.

In any case, that was 2 days ago. We've since moved back up to La Paz and plan to ride the ferry across the Sea of Cortez to Los Mochis and take a train into the Sierra Madres for a change from the desert, cactus and beaches of the Baja Peninsula.


jeni said:

I saw a pic of you guys on a sailboat and got excited...the sailing trip FINALLY begins! But then i realized you had me fooled and posted an OLD photo of you guys at John Island. It's a sad, sad day when you resort to posting old photos Ryan! Get a new camera will ya??!! Is this a good time to start donating?? I think it might be.
Miss you dollface!!!

November 7, 2005 10:20 PM
Andy McLean said:

Ryan did you get hurt in a break dance fight? Do we need to send a DART team down there? Is it that difficult to find wireless internet zones in the heart of a Mexican desert?

November 8, 2005 12:50 PM