SANTA ROSA, ECUADOR — “The Day of the Dead” celebration in Ecuador started today, but many fear the pandemic will prevent them from visiting the graves of their deceased family members.
The government hopes to lower down the spread of COVID-19 by closing the cemeteries during the holidays as we get closer to one of the longest-running, special holidays in Ecuador.
People in Ecuador worry that they won’t get to celebrate this special day like they have for generations.
Before the pandemic, thousands of families gathered to visit the graves of their deceased loved ones in cemeteries nationwide; this ritual is part of the culture in Ecuador. However, the advance of COVID-19 changed the dynamic as local cemeteries will remain closed during this holiday.
In the midst of the health emergency, some local business owners claim the government regulations will hurt their businesses.
The sale of flowers, candles, crosses and traditional food are common during this holiday, just not this year. But many still hold out hope that local government agencies will find a way to allow families to visit their loved ones — at least for a short period of time — to show their respect.