Latin-American Winemaker Sotelo Supports Charity Event

It couldn't have been a better party -- La Catrina: Keeping the Spirits Alive -- was "the" event of the Halloween weekend in San Francisco.  This Day of the Dead-themed party benefited the Mexican Museum, a San Francisco treasure nationally-renowned for showcasing the richness of Mexican and Mexican American, Chicano and Latino art and culture.

Alex Sotelo and "La Catrina" Sofia Keck

Alex Sotelo
, Winemaker at Alex Sotelo Cellars, Napa Valley, danced and ate and imbibed with the hundreds of guests who participated in this centuries-old celebration of life and death.  He was joined by  La Catrina, the flirtatious skeleton always dressed in her finery and whose smile invites us to seize the moment. La Catrina represents the joy of life in the face of our inevitable death. In another life, La Catrina is Sofia Keck, founder of Sell It in Spanish, a bilingual and bicultural full-service marketing firm.

Pastries from La Victoria
The Concourse Exhibition Center was transformed into a colorful village environment with vendors such as Tacos San Buena and Don Ramon's Mexican Restaurant offering traditional food from Mexico and La Victoria Bakery and Kitchen topping off the cuisine with wonderful pastries.

There were many traditional altars created by local artists to remember departed loved ones. As noted in the Mexican Museum explanations, private altars such as these are traditionally decorated not only with the deceased loved ones’ favorite foods and drinks, but also with a glass of water so they may quench their thirst after the long journey. Marigolds are also part of the celebration, and the aroma of these colorful flowers fill the air, creating a path for the souls to find their way home.

The music was great, and very much enjoyed by the living souls at the event!  An all-woman Mariachi Band, Mariachi Femenil Orgullo Mexicano, performed throughout the event, and on the main stage, cumbia and salsa sounds of Grupo Los Ejecutivos provided very danceable music.
Band: Grupo Los Ejecutivos
This fundraising event was named in honor of the iconic figure of La Catrina. "La Catrina is an integral part of Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico and throughout the United States. On Día de los Muertos it is believed that the souls of those who have died return to visit the living. It is a Mexican holiday that has been celebrated for centuries, tracing back to a similar ritual observed by the Aztecs. It is now celebrated in certain parts of the United States on Nov. 1 and 2. The underlying theme for this holiday is that it is a time of great celebration, not mourning," noted the museum.

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