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Las Vegas communities honor dead on Día de Los Muertos

Posted at 8:06 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 23:10:02-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is tomorrow and not even COVID-19 has stoped this important celebration for the Hispanic community.

You may have seen them at several businesses in town, all of them are dedicated in memory of those who have passed away.

At the Springs Preserve, in particular, they have one that is dedicated to all those who died due to COVID-19.

For more than a decade, the Springs Preserve has hosted its Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. While this year’s event will not be held due to the COVD-19 pandemic, the Springs Preserve will carry on this beloved tradition.


Artist Isaias Urrabazo, who previously has created altars at the Springs Preserve, did it again this year, but his is the only one standing.

He said that some of the butterflies that are on display, have names and represent actual people who lost their lives to the virus, like the family of a man he knows who lost 7 family members.

For the artist, this altar has a special significance, as his mother passed away from COVID-19 in June.

In years past she would help him with the ofrenda (offering), but this year, it is in her memory.

"What you see is a dining chair that represents the empty chairs that are left behind by our family members all across the Las Vegas Valley and the world and then you transition to two rocking chairs that represent the transition,” said Urrabazo,

The transition from life to death and from death to the afterlife.

Dozens of families have already visited the artistic altar and taken pictures.

For kids, like Anabelle Chartrand, it's a reminder of a movie she likes.

"That chair right there is Coco's chair that she died there,” said the young girl.

She’s almost 6 years old and even at her young age, she understands what Día de Los Muertos is about.

"We can remember all the people we already knew and the people who were really nice with us when they were alive,” said Chartrand.

For others, like Hanale Wasserman, it's a reminder of home. She was born in Queretaro, Mexico, and it also reminds her of loved ones, but not in a sad way.

"It’s so unique, not only to the Mexican culture but all throughout Latin America. It’s something that we honor. And although it is not based on what a lot of people think in Christianity, it's actually, a Native American ritual, that has been handed to us generation through generation. So it is an absolutely beautiful remembrance and ceremony,” said Wasserman.

This altar will be on display during regular operating hours Nov. 1-2 and 5-8.

More information about the celebration:
Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration of life and death that reunites the living and dead.

Families create ofrendas (Offerings) and altars to honor their dead loved ones.

They usually include yellow marigold flowers (known in Spanish as cempasúchi), pan de muerto (sweet bread), photos of the departed, and their favorite food and drinks. All this, to encourage their visits from the land of the dead.