A Dia de los Muertos altar offers a space downtown for Fort Worth residents to honor deceased loved ones. 

The Dia de los Muertos altar was decorated by Coleccion Mexicana, a Mexican arts and crafts store in downtown Fort Worth. The store also hosted the inaugural La Catrina Contest on Oct. 23, where brightly colored dresses and dancing filled Sundance Square. The altar went up Oct. 20 in Sundance Square Plaza, 420 Main St. 

Coleccion Mexicana plans to be a part of another festival with ballet folklorico and more festivities on the Día de Todos los Santos, on Nov. 1, the last day the altar will be up.

“There’s a part that’s about tradition. The tradition has to live. These generations are forgetting about the Mexican traditions,” Coleccion Mexicana owner Miguel Martin said in Spanish. “They don’t pay as much attention to el Dia de los Muertos, and it starts to get lost. Mexicans have some of the most beautiful celebrations in the world.”

Martin began teaching himself Mexican papier mache three years ago, he said. His goal is to eventually open the first Dia de los Muertos museum in Fort Worth.

First, he’s starting with his store at 406 Houston St. in downtown Fort Worth.

His main objective is to celebrate Mexican culture and traditions through his art and through festivities like the La Catrina Contest.

“It was our wish to do this. To see how the people loved it and enjoyed it was amazing. Non-Latino people were watching, and they were fascinated,” Martin said. “It was a very special moment to host this festival in Fort Worth.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...