Day of the Dead - Día de muertos

Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican ancestry living abroad. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died but it is basically a happy holiday.

Prior to Spanish colonization of Mexico in the 16th century, the celebration took place by the Indians at the beginning of summer and later transferred to November 2. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars at home and institutions called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using Calaveras (explained below), marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

During Day of the Dead festivities, food is both eaten by living people and given to the spirits of their departed ancestors as ofrendas ("offerings"). Pan de muerto and calaveras are associated specifically with Day of the Dead. Pan de muerto is a sweet roll shaped like a bun, topped with sugar, and often decorated with bone-shaped pieces. Calaveras, or sugar skulls, display colorful designs to represent the vitality and individual personality of the departed.

The Group of Environmental Microbiology has two departing members during the last 20 years: the mangrove researcher Dr. Gina Holguin and the English Editor Dr. Roy Bowers. However, The Bashan Foundation (USA) that the group supports, has 11 departed scientists and the offering of 2017 was dedicated to their memory of all.

Photo gallery of the ofrenda of 2017 at Environmental Microbiology group at CIBNOR, La Paz, Mexico: