Community a big part of West Side neighborhood Dia de Los Muertos preparations

Volunteers helping with alter making, cleaning

Community a big part of West Side neighborhood Dia de Los Muertos preparations

SAN ANTONIO – The West Side community is gearing up for a big week of altar making and cleaning as people gear up for the Day of the Dead celebration.

There’s excitement in the air at Rinconcito de Esperanza on the West Side. Volunteers are getting things ready for the start of the altar making. Michael Marinez, an artist in residence, says he hopes everyone can take a moment to reflect on what’s transpired during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dia de Los Muertos is a perfect time.

“It’s a week of altar making and flower making and nature making and reminiscing, thinking about who you’re doing this for,” he said.

The days leading up to the celebration are cleansing, spiritually and physically, Marinez said. A community-wide bulk clean-up will begin Oct. 29.

Volunteers and artists are busy helping to create “nichos,” or plastic marigolds, and even growing marigolds for the altars. The live marigolds were donated to Rinconcito de Esperanza and grown in compost donated by the City of San Antonio. The compost comes from green bin waste collected from throughout the city.

“Those things can become the Earth that then becomes the marigold, then becomes the memory, then becomes the joy. So it’s important that everything is tied,” Marinez said.

Volunteers are welcome to join in helping with the preparations for the Day of the Day and learn about the proper creation of the altars. Marinez will be working Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 826 Colorado.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.