The Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival Altar

In response to the many losses of life due to both Covid-19 and social injustice, The Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival will be distributing 50 free altar kits to the San Antonio (SA) community. The altar kits will be given to members of our community who have suffered the loss of a loved one to provide them with the opportunity to heal and mourn by building a small altar, or ofrenda, in the safety of their home. The altar components will be created by several local SA artists. We aspire to safely bring the community together through meaningful monarch inspired art, created by the community, for the community.

The kit will provide the basic components of an ofrenda including:
Pan Muerto
Fabric dyed with Marigold by local artist Amada Miller
A rendition of a monarch butterfly from Mexico
Local, native seed packet
Sugar skulls
Marigold flowers grown by farmer Cecile Parish of EcoCentro
Sustainable and reusable art box created by local artist Jose Sotelo
Information on how to build an altar written by Jose Sotelo

In 2015, SA became the National Wildlife Federation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City. This is in part because of its location in the “Texas Funnel,” the area on the migration pathway through which all monarchs must pass on their journey to and from Mexico. The monarch butterfly itself has cultural significance. In Mexican tradition, the monarch represents the return of the souls of ancestors and is a part of the annual Dia de Muertos celebration. With SA's majority Hispanic population and its location in the Texas Funnel, it is the perfect place to provide a means to heal from the tragedies of 2020 by offering free, at-home altar kits that celebrate Dia de Muertos and the return of the monarchs on their journey to Mexico.

Coupled with our tagging of monarch butterflies in the names of those who passed and the construction of an altar at Confluence Park, our intent is to provide the community with a small dose of hope and healing.

Financé par San Antonio, TX (August 2020)