Honor Your Ancestors & Heritage With a Día de Muertos Altar with Grace Alvarez Sesma

Honor Your Ancestors & Heritage With a Día de Muertos Altar with Grace Alvarez Sesma

Explore how to connect with the original spirituality of your ancestors…

With rituals and celebrations that align with your personal memories, family history, and cultural identity so you can:

  • Honor your ancestors
  • And heal generational wounds

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What You'll Learn During “Honor Your Ancestors & Heritage With a Día de Muertos Altar”

As the world continues to feel uncertain, do you find yourself searching for your spiritual and cultural roots?

You’re not alone. Many seekers are longing to feel closer to their ancestors, hoping to uncover and understand new parts of themselves as they experience their original spirituality.

Yet, it’s easy to feel even more disconnected and adrift when you’re unsure of how to honor your ancestors with cultural humility and respect.

How To Celebrate Día de Muertos While Being Culturally Mindful

For example, Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is increasingly celebrated by non-Indigenous, non-Mexican people without knowledge of Mexican Indigenous history, notes Grace Alvarez Sesma, a traditional native healer (curandera) from Mexico.

Yet, without enough background, some well-meaning celebrants end up using parts of this sacred observance out of context, which can unintentionally harm or co-opt Mexican and Indigenous communities and cultures. Without the information and tools needed to help heal unresolved issues with deceased relatives and ancestors, these celebrants can also harm themselves.

Thankfully, with the right tools and wisdom, you can respectfully participate in time-honored rituals that you can then pass down for generations. Families are grounded, generation to generation, in their unique cultural traditions. You have these traditions too, affirms Grace.

It’s time to learn how to connect with them.

During this free spiritual growth event, Grace guides you through a practice to connect to a beloved ancestor — then discover when, why, and how to honor your ancestor’s life and memory as part of a Día de Muertos observance.

The Cultural Significants of an Ofrenda

You’ll discover the cultural significance of an ofrenda, an altar with items that are deeply meaningful to you and future generations, which also serves as an invitation to your departed loved ones to visit for a grand feast and joyous family reunion.

Grace will share how to make sure your altar offerings are authentic to your familial lineage, and how to keep them alive in your heart and in your memories.

It may seem like customs that honor the memory of your ancestors have been lost. Yet, as Grace will explain, you can reconnect with the customs of your ancestors through tools like storytelling, music, prayer, photographs… and creating an altar in your own traditions to honor them.

Class Topics for “Honor Your Ancestors & Heritage With a Día de Muertos Altar”

  • The spiritual and cultural significance of creating an ofrenda — an altar with items that are deeply meaningful to you and future generations
  • Why your altar doesn’t have to be elaborate — as Grace shares examples of an altar’s elements, including flowers, photographs, food, icons, and other offerings
  • Why you don’t have to be a part of any specific tradition to create a respectful altar that celebrates your ancestors and aligns with your cultural identity
  • The key differences between appreciating and celebrating a culture vs. appropriating it
  • An experiential practice to help you connect to a beloved ancestor in a gentle, safe, and grounded way — Grace will then share when, why, and how to honor your ancestor’s life and memory as part of a Día de Muertos observance

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About Your Teacher – Grace Alvarez Sesma

Grace Alvarez Sesma - HeadshotGrace Alvarez Sesma, a cultural practitioner of Yaqui descent, was born in Mexico. Called to the path of curanderismo (a traditional Mexican healing system) in childhood, she was profoundly influenced by the work of one of her aunts, a curandera, and an uncle who was a well-known huesero, as well as by her mother’s remedies that were part of her family’s daily life.

Beginning in early childhood, Grace was visited in dreams by Our Lady of Guadalupe and a group of Indigenous Grandmothers dressed in the traditional clothing of different Native tribes of the Americas, who urged her to return to Indigenous healing ways and help bring forth the call from Mother Earth for a return to Indigenous values and the protection of the land, water, and holy places.

Keeping the words of the ancestors in her heart, in 2013 she successfully launched an online social media campaign that helped stop the trademarking of Día de los Muertos by The Walt Disney Company.

In addition to her healing practice, Grace is a facilitator for the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work, and she annually serves as Elder-in-Residence at the First Nations Iskotew and Kumik teaching lodges in Canada.

Grace is a 1993 Fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, a collaborative project with the Center for Creative Leadership and Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a member of the Kumeyaay-led Kanap Kuahan (Tell the Truth) Coalition, an advisor to House of the Moon (an Indigenous healing and restoration program to address the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women/People crisis), and a board member of the Yaquis of Southern California.

Grace is an engaging cultural educator who helps organizations understand and be responsive to the historical experiences of Indigenous peoples as well as contemporary issues affecting them. She warmly welcomes into her circle those who are ready to listen with an open heart and are willing to do the work of healing, understanding, and supporting Indigenous culture and traditions.

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Aug 23 2022


10:00 am - 11:15 am

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 23 2022
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

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