Hi! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Katia Bernal Rodrigues and I´m 28 years old. I own a beauty salon in town.
Where were you born?
I was born in Puerto Vallarta but have lived my whole life in Sayulita. My family is one of the first families that formed this town.
How long have you been participating in the festivities?
I have been part of the festival team for 5 years. The festivals name is “Festival Vivan Los Muertos” (editor's note: this can be roughly translated to “Festival Long Live the Dead”)
What does this festival mean to you?
It means a lot to me emotionally because this is the day that our passed loved ones visit us.
How did you get involved initially in this festival?
I started participating in the preparations for the Day of the Dead after my dad died. I was invited to participate and leave an offering for him and I really liked it. I stayed within the festival tea and have been helping since then. The feeling it gives me is something I can't describe, it's incredible to see everything we have created in a whole year's work during these 3 days, just so we can put on our altars and honor our ancestors.
Can you tell us a little bit about some of the traditions?
The walk to the cemetery is on the 1st of November at 12:00 am. The reason we walk to the cemetery is to be there to receive and welcome our loved ones that are visiting us.
I welcome you to come and join us. The way it feels to walk to the cemetery at night for this tradition is something I can´t find the words to describe.
So the town's cemetery is a very important place to you?
The conservation of our cemetery is really important to the town, as it is where all of our loved ones and ancestors are. It saddens me that it is being invaded as it belongs to us as a town.
How can outsiders honor and support this tradition when they come visit?
This festival has become international and we get many visitors from all over the world, tourists can participate by coming to the plaza when we are placing our altars and offerings. They can support us by giving a helping hand while we work and by being respectful towards all the hard work and decorations we have worked on all year, just for this three day festival.
What can we expect from this festival?
We start on the 31st with a parade and on the 1st of November we walk to the cemetery. The 2nd of November is the closing of the festival. During these days you can expect live music, katrina costume contests, altar contests and more.
Do you have a favorite memory of these special times?
My favorite memory is during the walk to the cemetery in 2019. I felt many unexplainable things but most importantly I felt my father with me in that moment. That was the moment I believed that with our offerings and altars we really do prepared the way for our passed ones to come to us and that they truly are with us on that day. I invite you to come be with us and participate in this beautiful celebration.
Katia owns a beauty salon in town that offers many different services, but her expertise is in nails. You can contact her directly at her number: 322 306 0436