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How This Phoenix Neighborhood Coffee Shop Is Taking Back Día De Los Muertos


On a mid-October afternoon Tres Leches Cafe owner José “ET” Rivera and his girlfriend Magaly Saenz work with care on their ofrenda for Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. They set up and clip photos of deceased family members. The day before they embellished the altar with marigolds, prayers candles and decorative skulls.

The ofrenda takes up a pink ledge behind Rivera’s coffee shop and panadería. It symbolizes a tribute to life rather than death and as of Wednesday, Rivera welcomes anyone to place their own photos of loved ones or mementos on the ofrenda.

“It’s almost like having a reunion,” Saenz said. “It’s a happy time. Día de los Muertos is about remembering that family is important, and rejoicing in that.”

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