I arrived in SMA on the evening of October 31rst, Halloween night after being in transit for a full 24 hours via car from my house to the ferry to a Vancouver city bus to the Skytrain station to Vancouver International, then routing through Los Angeles and Leon Airports to Viaje San Miquel airport shuttle to my comfortable townhouse (they call it a casita here) in Colonia San Rafael just outside of Centro.
Being very weary by this time and also two hours ahead of PST I knew that it would take about a week for my body and soul to rediscover each other south of the border and also adjust being in a high altitude city. I had actually forgot this variable since for half the year I live at ocean level in the Harbour City of Nanaimo, British Columbia.
However, since the two Days of the Dead are November 1rst and 2nd I did not have the luxury of sleeping until I knew where I was and what day it was. So the first thing I did on my first full day in Mexico was to hike into Centro to view the Day of the Dead shrines in El Jardin, what they call the plaza here.
Some of the shrines were very elaborate and honoured a famous person like a well known opera singer and some were simple but representative of the individual and his or her place in San Miquel’s life and times. One particularly poignant shrine was in honour of the well loved newspaper seller in the plaza. Another erected by the local board of education spotlighted a number of teachers. There were pictures, salt for purification and glasses or a jug of water to slake the thirst of the returning souls. Of course once they got here there was also their favourite dishes and stronger libations to enjoy.