History of The Day of the Dead Wall by Efren Gonzalez in Ajijic Mexico

Ajijic Mexico takes great pride in its Day of the Dead celebrations, every November 2nd you will see wonderful decorations in town, the locals visiting the cemetery to spend this special day with their deceased loved ones and of course candlelit altars honoring the dead. One of Ajijic’s most famous Murals is by Maestro Efren Gonzalez and known to everyone as” The Day of the Dead Wall” on Marcos Castellanos street close to the Ajijic Plaza. Check out the full interview Access Lake Chapala did with Maestro Efren Gonzalez to find out how “The Day of the Dead Wall” started and where he got the inspiration to do it.

Efren mentions that the wall did not happen quickly, the way it started was going to be through a painted Mural by hand but once he started painting the wall he noticed it was not in good shape and that it felt very hollow, which would cause the plaster to fall off. He came to the conclusion that even if he would have hand painted the wall, it would not have lasted due to the bad condition of the plaster and it would quickly deteriorate.

Shortly after his attempt to paint a Mural on the damaged wall, he participated in a “Clay Art” contest in Ajijic where he worked with clay and also won first price in the contest. He quickly realized it would be an interesting concept to cover the whole wall on Marcos Castellanos street, that he initially wanted to paint, by using clay and filling the wall with the skulls commemorating Day of the Dead. He knew he could not do it as one large section, so he came up with the brilliant idea of sectioning it into several pieces and involving the local community by asking them for the names of their loved ones that have passed so they can have their name added on the wall.

Efren’s intention was also to involve the community and having Ajijic embrace this work of Art that he would create. He wanted the wall to be part of the community, for the people. Each skull has a name of a person that has passed way along with a small hole under the chin, so a candle holder can be placed there in order for it to be lit on day of the Dead.

Each year Efren asks the entire community to participate and come help light the skulls on November 2nd. You will even see relatives from people who have passed and have their name on the wall, come light the candle for their Grandfather, Father, Mother etc. It gives them something to touch, feel and of course create that remembrance about their loved one. There is around 1600 skulls that run along the entire wall, and it truly becomes a magical scene when they are all lit up at night.  At the beginning not many people trusted the project to work, but it has now become an Icon of Ajijic and a true success for the entire community of Ajijic, which has now turned the Day of the dead Wall into a local tradition that is celebrated each year in Ajijic Mexico.

So make sure you to be in Ajijic for November 2nd and bring your matches or lighter to come help us light the wall. You can see the entire video on our YouTube Channel and more about the area and the Day of the Dead wall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_db6jK0AiHk

At Access Lake Chapala Real Estate we represent your best interest, so for more visit our YouTube Channel and website AccessLakeChapala.com, our passion for the area shows in the content and quality of our website. We have thousands of pictures and videos related to the area including home tours, local traditions, events and more. Let our expertise and passion for Lake Chapala help you find your new home. We have highly qualified agents that can guide you through the process of buying your home. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. One of our agents would be happy to help you though the buying process and we are there for you every step of the way.
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