Dia de los Muertos altar in Pilsen to honor neighbors who have died

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Pilsen altar for Dia de los Muertos to honor neighbors who have died
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Isabel Hernandez's Dia de los Muertos altar will honor neighbors who have died

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Pilsen resident turns her garden into a large ofrenda, or altar, for Dia de los Muertos, and this year she is including photos of her neighbors' loved ones who have died.

Isabel Hernandez's 100-foot-long garden has become a neighborhood hot spot during spooky season because of her big and colorful ofrenda display.

"A lot of people who came over to see it, they thanked me, because it reminded them when their parents and grandparents did it outside. I even saw that, after I did mine, some people began doing it as well, outside of their houses," said Hernandez.

Dia de los Muertos, which is celebrated between Nov. 1 and 2, celebrates the life of family members who have passed. This year, Hernandez has bigger plans for the altar.

"Mostly altars are made of seven levels. So last year I thought I'd make one of seven levels, so each level will be 2-feet high. So 2-by-7 will be 14-feet high," said Hernandez.

Given the hard year last year with so many lives lost to COVID-19, this year's ofrenda will be a bit more special. Hernandez is inviting her community to share pictures of loved ones who have passed.

"This altar is not just going to be my altar, but this is going to be of the name of the neighborhood, so this is going to be the community altar," said Hernandez.

People from the Pilsen community can send Hernandez photos of loved ones through Facebook messenger.

She said she hopes her altar brings some sort of happiness and community after a year of so much uncertainty.

Isabel Hernandez's garden has become an attraction in the Pilsen community because of her Dia de los Muertos altar, which will honor her neighbors who have died.