Celebrating Día de los Muertos with friends: Presley’s Pantry

Día de los Muertos was this past week and as a special treat, I’ve asked some of my friends to send me photos and descriptions of their altars to share here on The Other Side of The Tortilla to show the variety of ways that people celebrate this holiday.

Today, I’m sharing the altar of my friend Nicole Presley from Presley’s Pantry.

Nicole Presley from Presley's Pantry made this altar for Día de los Muertos 2012. PHOTO/COURTESY OF NICOLE PRESLEY

Where in Mexico are your family’s roots?
My family is from Juarez- Chihuahua, and Tijuana. A mixed-bag of Mexican border towns.

Who does your altar honor?
My altar honors my uncle Robert. He’s the first person in my immediate family to pass on. His death strongly impacted all my living loved ones. We miss him dearly and hope that he appreciates his offerings. It also honors my fiance’s father Alfonso, who passed two years ago. 

Any special ofrendas or items on your altar?
I always put a shot of Vodka on the alter for my uncle. He loved having a good time and vodka was his drink of choice. Since he was a figurine artist, I make sure to include one of his pieces of work. His daughter is also a great artist and I include one of her pieces on his altar, knowing he would be so proud of her accomplishments as an artist. For Alfonso, I include coins and cookies. He had a huge coin collection in his days on this earth and they were one of the things that made him the happiest. 

Why do you make an altar for Día de los Muertos? How does it keep your connected to Mexican culture?
I make my alter in remembrance of my Tio. A way to celebrate his life and hope that where ever he is now he is able to know that we love him and miss him. And if all else fails…. At least he can enjoy his vodka. Then a few years ago when my fiances father passed, we started to celebrate his life through the alter as well. On November 2nd we play music all day long to celebrate this honorable men.

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