- Man accused of setting fire to Delta bar; posted photos of it burning on Facebook (9/17/17)5
- McClure man accused of leaving children in hot truck while gambling in casino (9/19/17)1
- New boutique store advocates for special-needs people (9/19/17)
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- Anne Limbaugh dies, leaves legacy of caring (9/22/17)
- Retailer may come to Jackson; rezoning needed first (9/17/17)2
- Planet Fitness to anchor Town Plaza shopping center (9/18/17)2
- Former major-league slugger Darryl Strawberry to speak at La Croix (9/20/17)
- Mo. conservation agents help fight fires in western U.S. (9/15/17)
- Owner of Mary Jane Burgers & Brew in Perryville to open new culinary concept in Cape (9/15/17)3
Mexicans seek homeland burials
MEXICO CITY -- Thousands of Mexicans who die in the United States are flown home for burial every year in their native land, where relatives gather at cemeteries on the Day of the Dead with flowers, candles, a favorite meal and nip of alcohol for the spirits of loved ones.
In a nation where ancestors are honored and death is regarded as a constant presence, the Nov. 2 tradition underscores Mexican immigrants' resistance to being buried abroad, migration experts and funeral homes say.
More than 300 bodies arrive each month at the Mexico City International Airport, just one port in a booming cross-border funeral trade.
"Nearly all migrant workers are sent to Mexico after they die," said Salvador Calderon, manager of a funeral home in Guadalajara that ferries the dead from the airport to towns across the central highlands. Even among people who have become nationalized U.S. citizens or have legal residency, "adults always say they want to be buried in their place of origin," he said.
The importance of homeland and family is especially clear on the Day of the Dead, which mixes Indian traditions and the Roman Catholic Church's All Souls Day. It is generally a festive day, celebrated with skeletons and sugar skulls featuring the names of both the living and the dead.
"The tradition up north is a little more impersonal," Calderon said.
In Mexico, public viewing of the dead lasts all night and funeral rites can extend for nine days.