Three years ago, the movie, Coco, depicted 12-year-old Miguel as he was transported to the Land of the Dead where he meets his great-great-grandfather and seeks his help to return to the land of the living.  The movie was a big success with the public, especially with Latino families, many whom did not know of Día de Los Muertos and its significance.  The movie contributed greatly to public understanding of one of our beautiful traditions.  This year, especially, we reach out to this tradition to help us make sense of the demise of our loved ones who have fallen victim to the Coronavirus.  For those whose loved one died alone, without family there to say goodbye, hold their hand, and tell them how much they were loved, we express our deepest sympathies and hope that this exhibit helps to bring you some healing.


DMAHL has also lost several board members and friends of DMAHL since our founding in 2008.  We miss them and will always remember them.  This year, in honor of our DMAHL family and friends who we lost in 2020 to Covid-19 or other causes, we are dedicating this exhibit to them.


Like other historical and cultural arts organizations, DMAHL had to reimagine how to present our exhibits to the public. While we miss having you viewing our exhibits at our venues, we hope you enjoy our first virtual exhibit.  


DMAHL board members, including our Emerging Historians of DMAHL and some DISD families contributed to this exhibit. Several created Día de Los Muertos family altars for the first time. We thank them for their creativity, their hard work and the love they expressed for their loved ones that they honored.


We leave you with this thought, “Las despedidas para unos son encuentros para otros.”

DMAHL Board of Directors

Exhibits Creative Content Web Designer, Johnny Reyes

Special Projects Director, Victoria Ferrell-Ortiz

Exhibit Director, Rosemary Valtierra Hinojosa

Special thanks to Charles Castro, Exhibit flyer graphics designer

Alcorta-Valtierra Family Altar

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Ferrell-Ortiz, Ferrell



Family Altar

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Family Altar


Family Altar


This Altar contains photographs of deceased Valenzuela family members. The top frame has photos of my grandparents Nicolas R. Valenzuela and Maria Del Refugio A. Muñoz with their children Eufemio, Maria Clara, Julian, Porfirio, Juan, Candelaria, Francisco I. Madero, Durango, Mexico.


Family Altar

This Altar is an arrangement for my deceased Grandparents Madaleno Rubalcava Valtierra and Brigida Hernandez Valtierra and deceased parents Franciso Hernandez Valtierra and Serapia Alcorta Valtierra. Magdaleno and Brigida were originally from Ojuelos De Jalisco, Jalisco, Mexico. They left Ojuelos in 1892 with three children and headed north and settled in the area south of the border for a few years. They had other children in this area near the border. With eight children they immigrated to the United states in 1908, settled in the rural area of Somerset, Texas working on Anglo owned farms. Francisco, the fourth child of Magdaleno and Brigida was born near Allende, Coahuila, Mexico in 1894. He immigrated with his parents in 1908 to Somerset, Texas. Serapia Alcorta Valtierra ,wife of Francisco, was born in Sabinal, Texas on November 14, 1914 to Viviano Alcorta and Tomasa Rodriguez Alcorta. Francisco worked on farms, in the Somerset oil fields, as a cowhand and lastly as a farmer with his wife Serapia on farmland west of Somerset. Francisco and Serapia had two boys and two daughters on the farm. Francisco was a very successful farmer from the late 1930's to 1954 when the drought of the 1950's in the southwest United States ended the raising of crops. Francisco then went to in several cities and settled in Dallas, Texas with his wife and four children in 1956. Magdaleno and Bigida Valtierra died in the 1930's. Francisco H. Valtierra died August 5, 1965. Serapia A. Valtierra died June 25, 1984. 


Frank A. Valtierra

Altar arrangement by Frank A. Valtierra and Dorelia V. Valtierra


Family Altar

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Jesus Tambunga was a hard-working farmer for all his life. He was a great man of God. His wife Louisa Tambunga was a devoted mother and grandmother; also a woman of God and prayed over everyone before herself.


Jesus Botello was a great man, very kind hearted and loved all of his grandchildren. He worked hard and lived in Nuevo Laredo with his wife Carmela Botello. He is not pictured but his Tamaulipas cap reflects how much he loved Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Carmela was a very hard worker and sacrificed for her family until the day she passed. They are all truly missed. My children didn’t get to meet them and this altar we made together helped me to help them know who they were and how much they loved and were loved.

-Submitted by Veronica Flores and children,

Emmalyn and Davi Flores

Anson Jones Elementary School


Family Altar

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Son mis bisabuelos maternal. El que trae el sobrero puestos (a la derecha) es mi bisabuelo Angel Cervantes. Siempre le gustaba cantar historias de cuando estaba tranquilo. A el le gustaba mucho los sombreros y el murio en el ano 1997, pero siempre fue muy alegre.


Family Altar

This altar was created by Erik Barragan, 8th grade student at Raul Quintanilla Sr. Middle School. The family does not have photos but dedicates the altar in memory of:

Pablo Barragan (Great-Grandfather)

Bertha Rojas Solano (Aunt)

Submitted by Erik Barragan

Son of Sra. Marquez


Family Altar

This altar
is dedicated to all those who have died from the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.
They may be gone
but are not forgotten.

-Jennifer Rangel

Dallas Mexican American Historical League Members & Friends

Family Altar