Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy to Talk to the Dead

El Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Death, is a two day celebration in San Marcos de Laguna, a small village on  Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The natives, the Mayan Kaqchikel  people whose ancestors  populated these lands since prehistoric times, believe today in Jesus Christ and the church preachers speak over megaphones that can be heard all over the village soon after dawn.

Early in the morning on El Dia de Los Muertos, the villagers put on their holiday clothes– usually made by the women of the village– and climb the steep walk to the cemetery on top of the hill. Kids fly kites high in the sky, "to make a path between the earth and those who have gone up." 

"It is a very happy day for us," told me one one of the village women. And then, in a whisper: "You can ask the locals anything on this day. They are in great spirits, so happy to be talking to the dead."

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