On Friday October 28, more than 600 “souls” took over the city streets of Mérida and paid tribute to a tradition that has its roots in the ancient Maya culture and also in the dark paths of colonial times.
Led by Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal, these “wandering spirits” marched through the same course in which the dead of the Yucatan have walked for centuries, to their final resting place. A route through colonial houses, cobblestone streets of French and Spanish architectural influence, passing by chapels where “conquistadors” once entrusted their lives under the protection of saints and where the Maya gods lie silently underneath those constructions that were built on top of their temples.
Merida, considered today as the best city to live in Mexico for second year in a row, has achieved the distinction of “American Capital of Culture” arousing the interest of families, tourists, visitors and national media who arrived at the Paseo de las Animas to witness with their own eyes how these live traditions manifest in the public spaces of the Yucatecan capital as part of the Merida’s Cultural Rights Letter (Carta de los Derechos Culturales de los Meridanos).
According to estimates by the Municipal Police, over 50 thousand people gathered in this march in absolute order, and wagered in front of the bleachers that were installed in the General Cemetery and surrounding streets, the path in which more than a thousand souls marched in procession, causing the admiration of not only domestic and international tourists, but also of local families, that gathered by the thousands near the “Ermita”.
More than 230 family altars, community councils, civil and academic organizations and even groups in favor of animal protection provided to this old part of Merida an atmosphere of veneration of the dead, keeping the belief that the soul is immortal and that our ancestors return each year to share some time and celebrate with the living, on this marked “Day of the Dead”.
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