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This Year's Dia De Los Muertos Altars Reflect Difficult Year For LA's Latino Community

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Just like everything else this year, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is different. One commemoration in East Los Angeles included a socially distanced car parade. Decked-out lowriders cruised down Whittier Boulevard in a caravan, past Evergreen Cemetery, all the way to Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights. The community art center had to cancel its annual celebration because of the pandemic, but artists are still showing the altars they built for the dead here in a virtual exhibition.

Consuelo Flores created one ofrenda with photos of Black and Latino victims of COVID-19. "They have the most fatalities, the most exposure and therefore they bring the exposure of the virus home to their families," she says. She points to one picture of a five-year-old girl. "Both of her parents worked at hospitals caring for victims of COVID, and they brought that home and she died," Flores says.

Flores calls her ofrenda "The Roots of our Resistance." From the ceiling, she hung upside-down tree branches to look like roots. Attached to them are yellow and red marigolds that resemble 3D models of the coronavirus. And pinned to the flowers are photos of first responders who died of the disease.


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