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Some Northwest Latinos Blend Halloween, Day Of The Dead

PASCO, Wash. – Just as this year’s Halloween fades into memory, many Northwest Latino families are getting ready for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican holiday is on Friday. Some families blend the two holidays.

In Pasco, Washington, bakeries can hardly churn out enough seasonal pan muerto. It’s a type of semi-sweet bread that has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in. 

Just down the street, at the Supermex supermarket, managers are highlighting items from around the store that can go into a Day of the Dead altar, like: Flowers, fruit, traditional foods, favorite alcohols, candies and mementos.

Some are celebrating a Halloween-Day-of-the-Dead fusion this week, like Leonor Panduro and her daughters.

“I feel Mexico is my home, the United States is my second home," Panduro says. "For my daughters the United States is our first home because that’s where they were born. But I don’t want them to forget where I came from.”

At night, the dead are believed to eat their fill from their family’s Day of the Dead altar. After that, the food, pan muerto and candies are fair game for the living.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.