Saturday, September 27, 2008

Photos of my daughter and me at Dia de los Muertos 2007, Centro Mayapan, El Paso, Texas

While finishing a delicious bowl of Sopa Azteca the other day at Café Mayapán, I ran in to Arturo and Vallarie Enriquez of Vantage Point Studios. Art reminded me that he had taken a few photos of my daughter and me at last year's Dia de los Muertos celebration at Centro Mayapan, and sent them to me a few days later. Thanks to Vantage Point for allowing me to share the photos!

Give Vantage Point Studios a visit! They're one of El Paso's finest!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Centro Mayapan Dia de los Muertos 2008 poster - El Paso

Here is the poster for Centro Mayapan's Dia de los Muertos 2008 celebration here in El Paso!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Dia de los Muertos perfume oil

A Dia de los Muertos fragrance? Yes at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

"A joyous celebration of La Catrina, La Flaca, La Muerte... Glorious, Beautiful Death. In Mexico, death is not something to be feared or hated; She is embraced, loved, and adored. La Muerte is fêted, as the celebrant "...chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love." This is a Mexican paean to La Huesuda: dry, crackling leaves, the incense smoke of altars honoring Death and the Dead, funeral bouquets, the
candies, chocolates, foods and tobacco of the ofrenda, amaranth, sweet cactus blossom and desert cereus."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

La Catrina Mexican Grill & Cantina - El Paso, Texas

I haven't visited there yet, but it seems completely appropriate for the Dia de los Muertos - El Paso website! Right across from my office is the new La Catrina Mexican Grill & Cantina (317 East Mills). Cool artwork on the front of the place!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Finding copal in El Paso

I recently received an email about where to find copal resin in El Paso. Of course, incense is easy to find, but copal is another story.

First, a little about what copal is. Copal is a resin (dried sap) of the copal tree, which is more common in southern Mexico. This resin is often burned on ofrendas (altars) during Dia de los Muertos. The word copal is derived from the Nahuatl word copalli, meaning "incense." The resin can come in many forms; milky white, black and the most common, pale yellow. Copal's fragrance imparts a very smoky, cedar aroma. I absolutely love it, but many find it oppressive.

Copal resin is most typically burned on little charcoal burners, which are available at virtually any store that sells incense. (A foil-wrapped tube runs about $2-$3 for ten burners).

Copal incense can also be found in stick and smudge form, although they do not impart the genuine qualities as the resin. It tends to have a sweeter smell.

Copal resin can be found at the following places in El Paso and surrounding areas. These are the only ones I know of, but would appreciate it if readers could drop me a line if they discover it somewhere else. Be sure to call first to see if these places have it in stock.

Cool Arrows - 2000 N. Lee Trevino - 915-592-8877
Cool Arrows - 1226 McRae Blvd., 915-590-2200
Cool Arrows - 800 N Zaragoza - 915-790-2090
Cool Arrows - 4948 Hondo Pass - 915-755-3303
El Paso Museum of Art Gift Store - 1 Festival Arts Plaza - 915-532-1707
Funky Karma Incense & Tea Shop - 207 Avenida de Mesilla - Las Cruces, NM - 575-635-2275

Dia de los Muertos 2008 information - El Paso, Texas

Bits and pieces of information are beginning to come in for the 2008 celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) here in El Paso, Texas.

This year's event at Centro Mayapán will be focused on the peninsular area of Mexico (last year was Veracruz; the year before, Oaxaca). The dates and times have yet to be finalized. After a great lunch at Café Mayapán, I saw that they also have forms to fill out for people who would like to create and display an altar.