Community altars for Día de los Muertos grow on city’s West Side

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center hosts annual altar exhibit

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center hosts an annual altar exhibit for the community to celebrate and mourn during Day of the Dead.

SAN ANTONIO – On the city’s West Side, community members have been provided a space to celebrate the lives of their loved ones for over 30 years.

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center hosts an altar exhibit every year for Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

On Monday night, the Progresso Community Building will feature the work and memories of local schools, businesses and families.

An abundance of flowers to lead the souls to altars, custom papel picado that represents the crossover from the after life to the world of the living, pictures that keep their memories alive and much more are all part of the Día de Muertos celebrations.

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center began their community altar construction in the late 80′s. The exhibit first features smaller altars made by local families. More than 30 years later, the altars have expanded to large, colorful and intricate pieces of art that help the living heal and celebrate the memories of those they love.

This year, Lanier High School art students built an altar to honor the young Native American students who suffered abuse at boarding schools. Mocassins, turtles, and other ofrendas or offerings, honor their memory.

Teresa Solis-Camero and her husband Paul Camero, have been participating in the altar construction for the past 10 years. Solis-Camero said it’s an opportunity to mourn and celebrate the life of her brother, who died in 1974 and her father who passed away during the pandemic.

The exhibit will be tonight at the Progresso Community Building located across the street from the Guadalupe Theatre. The free event is from 4 to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, mariachi and dancers will continue celebrating Día de Muertos during the “La Vida de Muertos” at the Guadalupe Plaza from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.