Who Made this Grave


A few days before the actual Day of the Dead, I picked up my son from his Montessori school and we strolled together down Morelia’s Calzada, a ficus-lined cobblestone pedestrian avenue that stretches from the colonial city’s pink stone aqueduct to San Nicolás, the university where more than two centuries ago Mexico’s revolutionary priest, Father Hidalgo, was teacher to the city’s namesake, José María Morales. As we left his less famous school and strolled towards the aqueduct, my son and I noticed that a crowd was gathering, and to the best of our collective ability, we hurried to find out what Morelia had in store for us this day.
In the months we had roamed our temporary city together, me pregnant and waddling, my son only two and toddling, we had happened upon the sorts of spectacles that made living in Michoacán’s capital just a little bit magical. Since Michoacán was stewing in the heat of Mexico’s escalating drug war, this magic helped.

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