ATLANTA — This Hispanic Heritage Month, communities are celebrating the rich and vibrant culture of Hispanics and Latinos across the nation. A special tradition is already taking shape.
More than 1 million people who identify as Latino live in Georgia, putting their stamp on the Peach State with their food, holidays and traditions.
This month, 11Alive is highlighting the beloved tradition of an ofrenda, or altar, that celebrates the life of loved ones lost.
While death is often perceived as a sad thing, Día de los Muertos flips the narrative. It's actually a celebration of life.
"The Aztecs, Mayans and Toltecs considered mourning the dead respectful," said Adisde Handal, who handles Tourism and Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta in a previous interview with 11Alive. "They thought of death as a natural phase of life."
As Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, just a few weeks shy of the Mexican holiday, some people have adopted the tradition throughout the month in the U.S.
11Alive is showcasing the tradition throughout the month, creating a communal space where people can share a message and memory of those they miss. We want to honor your loved ones and sweet memories in ofrenda-style. Community members can submit their photos of those who have passed on, whether it be people or pets. Submission details are at the bottom of this story.
Peruse our dedicated digital ofrenda below. To see it full screen, click here.
How to submit to 11Alive's ofrenda
Who can be honored?
Anyone who has passed. This could be people or pets. These are often relatives or friends - loved ones you consider family.
Who can submit?
We want to hear from the community - you don't have to be Latino.
What do I need to send?
To participate please send:
- Your name
- The name of the person or pet you're honoring
- A photo
- One or two sentences about who they are and why you miss them.
Where do I send it?
You can email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or text ALTAR to 404-885-7600.
When do submissions close?
We'll be closing submissions on Oct. 16 and leave the altar up through Nov. 2.
How can I build my own ofrenda?
After sending us your submission, you can try building your own. For instructions on how to make an ofrenda, click here.