Day of the Dead | Chiapas 2017 | Student Book

We are so excited to share the book layout and the photos from our Chiapas Dia de los Muertos photo tour/workshop. We had four enthusiastic photographers with us for seven days at the end of October and the first couple of days of November in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

After an orientation and getting-to-know each other evening over wine and tapas at the always good El Cau, we spent the next seven days exploring some of the indigenous communities nearby and documented their daily lives as well as some of the family preparations for the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Dia de los Muertos is a little different in Chiapas than it is in other parts of Mexico. The main difference is that it is still a local observance and has not turned into a tourist attraction, like it has in Oaxaca and Michoacán.  In every cemetery we visited, we were the only “gringos.”Also, the local indigenous communities hold their observances on November 1 in the morning and it is not a night ritual. Most of the people in the city observe Dia de los Muertos on November 2. Of course, some of the U.S. traditions have appeared and the kids dress up and parade along San Cristobal’s pedestrian streets on the 31st, just like they would in the United States. We’ll have to learn the trick-or-treat song in Spanish this year!

In addition to our visits with weaving families and cemeteries, we spent part of one day visiting an USDA Certified Organic coffee plantation. All coffee here is high-altitude and shade grown. We had coffee and lunch with the family who runs the cooperative in the hills about 30 kilometers outside of the city.

During one of our last editing sessions, we talked about our favorite images, and started working on the layout for the book you see below. The cover and most of the photos were shot by the students. Jennifer and I only added a few of our photos when we felt the flow of the book needed a photo that the other photographers did not have in their coverage.

We look forward to returning next year for the Chiapas Dia de los Muertos photo tour and we hope that you will consider joining us. Don’t forget to take advantage of early bird pricing until August 1, 2018.