Día de los Muertos

San Diegans to Honor Loved Ones at 2nd COVID-19 Altar de Muertos

San Diegans who died of COVID-19 will be remembered with candles, photos and other items of remembrance

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MICHOACAN, MEXICO – NOVEMBER 02: Mexicans celebrate the annual Day of the Dead on November 2, 2019 in Michoacan, Mexico. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday combing Catholicism with indigenous beliefs, and is a celebration of life that honors friends and family who have passed away. Colorful altars are erected in homes and at graves in cemeteries as families bring favorite foods, drinks and personal mementos of the deceased to remember them. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Día de los Muertos will once again be celebrated at the County Administration Center with the second COVID-19 Altar De Muertos, which will be hosted by Chair Nathan Fletcher, Vice-Chair Nora Vargas and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

San Diegans who died of COVID-19 will be remembered with candles, photos and other items of remembrance at the altar on Nov. 1-2, 2021, at 1600 Pacific Highway, on the east plaza.  

Día de los Muertos is a Mesoamerica tradition observed annually from Nov. 1-2 to honor those who have passed away.

“The altar is a wonderful Mesoamerica tradition that we have adopted at the county to recognize any San Diegan who has passed away, but this year, like last year, we are putting a special emphasis on the more than 4,000 San Diegans who have died from COVID-19,” Fletcher said. “I’m encouraging any San Diegans who want to honor the life of their family member, friend or co-worker to visit the website and submit their photo so we can put it on the altar.”

Residents who want to honor their loved ones need to complete the form by Oct. 27, 2021.

The community of City Heights will partner again with Fletcher, Vargas and Gonzalez to set up the altar. People are welcome to visit the altar and pay their respects beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1.

A special recognition ceremony will be held on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and will be attended by Fletcher, Vargas and Gonzalez, along with other community leaders, as well the families who submitted photographs.   

“Día de los Muertos is an opportunity to joyfully celebrate the life of those that are no longer with us and one of the most colorful traditions in our Mexican culture,” Vargas said.

"We know the pandemic has disproportionately devastated Latino families throughout California," Gonzalez said. "The COVID-19 Altar de Muertos will provide a space to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away, and allow us an opportunity to come together and reflect as a community on all those we've lost."