In 1913, Mexican print maker Jose Guadalupe Posada sketched the original Catrina, an elegant, upper class skeleton woman in a ball gown to symbolize the emptiness of the upper classes. Subsequently, Catrinas have come to be a part of El Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. None of this has anything to do with Halloween, absolutely nothing. People sometimes associate the two erroneously, but only because of the dates when they occur.
This evening I was privileged to be one of the judges of a Catrina contest. Before the contest occurred, the evening began with some traditional Mexican dancing.
There were also several traditional El Dia de los Muertos family displays to honor deceased ancestors. The following was the most elaborate.
Finally, the Cartrinas were ready. Ten young women competed. The following photo shows the top three, judged for originality, costume, and makeup.
The young woman on the left never smiled. The top makeup impressed everyone. The skeletal bones you see on the young woman on the right were all painted on and a backbone, etc. was painted on her back as well. The young lady in the center won the costume portion–a bride in a black veil, elegant, empty.
To honor the death of a best friend’s father, I did as she asked, made a Kiva loan. After looking through dozens of potential individuals and groups, I loaned 100 dollars to a group of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help fund their poultry raising operation. Even though it has been less than six months, they have paid back more than half, paid on time regularly.
Some loan opportunities require even less money. People often think their efforts don’t count, they are too small to make a difference. Everything each person does makes a difference for better or worse. Make a difference, act, speak out, contribute however you can to make our world a better place for all of us.
Slaves today outnumber all the past,
more than thirty million.
Eleven year old girls,
locked in motel rooms, never see light,
told you’re a whore, worthless, until
they believe it.
Respectable hotels, brothels in disguise.
Senegalese boys chained in hovels, fake
madrassas, sent to beg on streets.
Texas parents of three daughters, forcing them
into prostitution for drugs. Everyone knows;
no one can catch them.
Famous men running sex slave rings, immune
Young women who think all men watch
pornography; it’s normal.
Innocence promised, endlessly betrayed.
People as commodities.