Celebrated on November 1–2, Día de Los Muertos is observed by families in various ways — going to mass, spending the night at the cemetery, adorning the graves of loved ones with photos, messages, and offerings of flowers and favorite foods. Here in Tucson, to commemorate All Souls’ Day, a related celebration, we assemble on the first Sunday after Día de Los Muertos (this year, on November 6) for the All Souls Procession, started in 1990 by a local artist mourning the loss of her father and drawing on age-old Mexican traditions in the borderlands. Attendance and the accompanying participation, art installations, and performances have grown steadily ever since, culminating in the burning of the Urn, filled with our written hopes and wishes for those who have passed.
At this time, it’s common to arrange ofrendas (alters dedicated to the departed) in homes and shared spaces. To honor our founder and friend and to express our shared grief, CSA will build an ofrenda for Philippe in the Historic Y courtyard where we shared so many simple moments, heartfelt exchanges, food memories, recipes, and stories. His vision of a community-based collective supporting neighboring farmers and feeding Tucson families began on Philippe’s front porch 18 years ago and, as it expanded, ultimately made its home in the Y’s courtyard, a place he loved and the perfect setting in which to remember him.
At the CSA pickups this week and at the open house on Saturday, November 5 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, we invite you to view and engage with the ofrenda, maybe by bringing or writing notes in honor of Philippe for the All Souls Urn, and we’ll deliver them. Together, we’ll acknowledge our loss and our memories of him and, on Saturday, have the opportunity to eat, drink, share stories, prayers, and songs, and convey our gratitude to Philippe.
Please RVSP if you have not yet. See you in the courtyard.
If you would like to make a contribution in his name, here are two suggestions that align with Philippe’s values:
1. Write a check to Tucson CSA for the CS-Aid Fund to specifically support low-income members
2. Make a tax-deductible contribution to Iskashitaa Refugee Network, one of our long-term partners working to reduce food waste while providing refugees with resources and community connections in the Tucson area.