Día de los Muertos is alive and well in East L.A.

Nov.2 447

“El temor a la muerte, señores, no es otra cosa que considerarse sabio sin serlo, ya que es creer saber aquello que no se sabe. Quizá la muerte sea la mayor bendición del ser humano, nadie lo sabe, y sin embargo todo el mundo le teme como si supiera con absoluta certeza que es el peor de los males.” – SOCRATES **

Una de las costumbres más famosas de México está “vivita y coleando” en East Los Angeles, según vimos en el evento de Día de los Muertos que organizó Self Help Graphics el 2 de noviembre en el East LA Civic Center. A pesar de que era lunes, school night y que estaba un poquito out of the way, nos dimos una vuelta y nos encantó todo lo que vimos.

Whether you calll it “La Calaca”, “La Pelona” ,”La Flaca” o “La Huesuda”, you would never imagine just how much of a following Death and All Her Friends have in “eastlos”. People were super excited to participate. There must have been hundreds of families there, even little kids were unafraid of las calacas, los rituales y los símbolos de la muerte. It was good to see the spiritual and even metaphysical connection people demonstrated through art, music, food and the ambience in general to a subject we generally don’t like to think about. Just like they do in Mexico, here in L.A. Día de los Muertos  was more of a party, a celebration of life.

I took some pictures and promised to give out the names of some of the exhibitors. They had really great stuff and I wish I could have bought something at every “puesto”.

Congratulations to Self Help Graphics. They’ve been doing this for 36 years and are keeping the tradition alive. If you want to support them (please do!) here’s their link to the website: http://www.selfhelpgraphics.com/. I actually found out about it through a link posted by the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz, the author and creator of the daily synicated comic strip, La Cucaracha and other excellent carteles. Check him out at: www.laloalcaraz.com

**By the way, thanks to my friend Ed for this great quote, posted on his facebook page. Aqui estan las fotos:


Las calacas, face painting and full costumes. Very creative!!


2 de Noviembre: Music and art under a full moon. Gracias Self Help Graphics!


Something for everybody; Calavera bibs for babies and art for grownups.


Los puestos llenos y el ambiente cool.

recuerdo y protesta

Algunos recordaron con altares. Others made a statement in silence in honor of Las Mujeres de Juarez.


Yvonne Romo and her beautiful original creations. Contact her at yvonneromo@aol.com for more details.


Speedy Muertito had a booth. Rose Alarcon and friend sold cool t-shirts and hoodies. Website: http://www.SpeedyMuertito.com


Kids love Calaveras too!


Felted art handmade from recycled sweaters...me encantaron! Contact: trexesa@sbcglobal.net

6 thoughts on “Día de los Muertos is alive and well in East L.A.

  1. Que buena onda Cristi!!
    Las fotos estan increibles, que padre que se haya festejado el Dia de Muertos de esta manera en East LA. Y como no, pues hay tantos mexicanos por alla 🙂

  2. Cristi – thank you for sharing the photos! I will never forget my first “Dia de Los Muertos” event at Self Help Graphics – in the mid 90
    s! Trying to fit-in with the celebration, I braided my hair, filled in my eye-brows, and decorated my folkloric costume with an excessive amount of jewelry – in an effort to channel Friday Kahlo (a recent discovery at that time). In my 20-something year-old mind, I would be the *hit* of the evening. The reality was, my costume, make-up and ‘chutzpah’ was nothing compared to the beautiful altars, art exhibit, music (if I recall correctly, Quinto Sol, Aztlan Underground and possibly Ozomatli were part of the musical entertainment!). Thank you for taking me back and reminding me of this great event/celebration!!

  3. Pingback: Mas vale tarde que nunca. Vamos al Dia de los Muertos event de Self Help Graphics. « Life in Spanglish

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review. GRACIAS A TODOS! | Life in Spanglish

  5. Pingback: A few ideas for your “Día de los Muertos” party and outfit « Life in Spanglish

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