Some of the colorful decor designed by Yolix Luna and Bobe D'Leon / Centro San Antonio
But amidst the colorful displays, music, and culinary offerings, it’s important to step back at times and remember the individual locals who use this occasion to honor those they’ve lost (look closer at the altars and ask questions about who is being honored). One such individual, Yolix Luna, owns a boutique at El Mercado at Market Square called “Muñecas, Etc.” Yolix has shared her art with Market Square for 39 years and 2019 is no different. As part of the Día de Los Muertos observances, Yolix and her fellow shop owners in Market Square create ofrendas (altars) to honor loved ones who have passed on.
Daniel Lizalde is one of the departed honored in Yolix's ofrenda / Centro San Antonio
As an example, Yolix’s and Bobe D’Leon’s ofrenda honors family friend Rose Rojas and Daniel Lizalde. Daniel was a team member at La Margarita in Market Square. A unique aspect of this ofrenda is that it also includes explanation of what each element of the altar represents. For those who wish to learn more about these traditions, Yolix’s book Celebration of the Day of the Dead: Celebracion del Dia de Muertos is available on Amazon.com or at her store inside El Mercado at Market Square.
Yolix's book, Celebration of the Day of the Dead: Celebracion del Dia de Muertos / Centro San Antonio
And if you wish to participate in some activities surrounding these remembrances, Yolix recommends a few opportunities. On Friday, November 1st (All Saints Day), there will be an ofrenda honoring children at the San Saba street entrance of El Mercado. Also on Friday from 4pm-6pm, Yolix, her family, and La Familia Cortez will hand out samples of Pan Dulce for children. On Saturday, November 2nd, Yolix and her family will provide visitors with mole samples, as she has done for over 30 years.
A poem by Yolix Luna / Centro San Antonio
The Día de Los Muertos festivities in San Antonio are grand, colorful, and emotional- yes. But it’s important to remember that these large community displays are deeply rooted in the lives of locals who care deeply about preserving and celebrating the memories of those they love.