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Day of the Dead: Sumpango, Guatemala (In Pictures)

Here's the final post of photographs and video from my recent trip to Guatemala for Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). My daughter and I visited the historic city of Antigua (photographs HERE) and attended the spectacular Giant Kite Festival in Sumpango (photos/video HERE). We also paid a visit to the cemetery in Sumpango where every year family members come with flowers, paint, machetes, gardening tools as well as food and drink to clean and adorn the gravesites (in-ground burial plots) and mausoleums of their deceased loved ones in preparation for Day of the Dead.

It's a less somber and more festive affair than one would think and as we spoke to several locals at the cemetery who were painting and decorating the final resting spots of their loved ones, we realized how much it meant to these folks to remember those who have passed. These photographs were taken on Day of the Dead as well as All Hallows' Eve (the day before) and the video was shot the day before.

Enjoy...

All Hallows' Eve: Sumpango, Guatemala from DanPerezFilms on Vimeo.

ORANGE STRIPE

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

The streets of Sumpango...

Sumpango

Sumpango

Outside the cemetery, street vendors sold an assortment of flowers for those looking to spruce up the gravesites of their loved ones...

Sumpango

Sumpango

The entrance to the cemetery was a nonstop stream of people coming and going...

Sumpango

The Sumpango cemetery is a public cemetery and those not able to afford a mausoleum share the ground (sometimes mere feet apart) with other families...

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

From dirt burial plots to more private mausoleums, there was work to be done...

Sumpango

SUmpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

On the eve of the Day of the Dead, a Mayan shamanic ceremony takes place to communicate with the spirits and to bless the kites that will fly the following day (you can watch that video HERE)

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Sumpango

Come Day of the Dead, the cemetery is awash in bright colors...

Sumpango

Sumpango

Kites are a common sight around the cemetery during Day of the Dead...

Sumpango

Thousands of people walk past the cemetery to attend the Giant Kite Festival on Day of the Dead, November 1st.

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Hope you enjoyed the photographs. Guatemala is a warm and colorful place and the people are as friendly as you'll ever meet. For more information on the Day of the Dead and the Giant Kite Festival in Sumpango, check out the facebook pages for Asociación Barriletes Hijos del Viento Guatemala and Festival de Sumpango. Oh, and put Guatemala's Day of the Dead festival on your list of places to visit before you kick the bucket. You won't be sorry...

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