SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of people visit the Fiesta Store near North Star Mall every year, but many are unaware that hidden on the top floor is an immersive experience that details the history of Dia de los Muertos.
The Day of the Dead Museum features thousands of pieces of art, five rooms and a main gallery dedicated to the holiday.
The owner of the Fiesta Store created the museum when no visitors were allowed inside during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our owner had an extensive collection of art from artists in Mexico, and she thought it would be beneficial to create a public interest in that,” said Luis Pineda, Fiesta Store manager.
The owner of the Fiesta Store collected the items over 30 years and hopes visitors can find beauty in their history.
Pineda said the store has also acquired Dia de los Muertos artifacts from Mexico.
“It’s been in the making for about 15 years,” said Pineda. “To show people what Mexican art is about, not only Fiesta stuff that we have but the actual art that’s been in families for generations. We have probably tens of thousands of different pieces. Some of them are very delicate and very exquisite art.”
The museum also features calaveras, or skulls, altars and displays dedicated to Frida Kahlo and The Virgin Mary. A young woman also sings “La Llorona” at times for visitors in the main space.
“We get a lot of people with teary eyes after it because they remember someone, and it’s a very emotional song,” said Pineda.
Pineda remembers celebrating Dia de los Muertos with his family at Mexican cemeteries. He said he’s seen the holiday become more celebrated throughout the years.
“It’s becoming prevalent. Families that have nothing to do with Mexico or the culture of Mexico are doing altars in their houses,” said Pineda. “They want to involve themselves into the culture because it’s universal.”
And while more people embrace the holiday, Pineda said it’s just as important to know why and the meaning behind it.
“It’s changed over the years from the Aztecs to current generations. Now it’s being celebrated differently than it was before,” said Pineda. “And we show the different steps of how that’s being celebrated over time.”
The Day of the Dead Museum is open year-round. Click here for more information.