Happy Fair Trade Month! For 31 days we’re seting out fun ideas and activities (and a contest!) to have you eating Fair Trade bananas, hosting movie screenings, baking delicious Fair Trade goodies, recycling Halloween costumes, and giving out Fair Trade chocolates to trick-or-treaters. For more, visit Fair Trade Your Halloween.

Check out our website for the whole list of actions, or follow us @gxfairtrade or on Facebook where we will deliver your daily action each morning at #fairtrade31.

Today is Action #22…Build Your Own Fair Trade Day of the Dead Altar!

Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors. Rather than mourning death as purely tragedy and loss, Dia de los Muertos honors both death and the cycle of life. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our loved ones whom have passed away.

In Mexico, on Dia de los Muertos families and friends gather in local cemeteries to be with their loved ones and construct private altars, which contain everything from photos, favorite foods, and other memorabilia, in hopes that deceased souls will journey back for the Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Stop by your local Bay Area Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores for all you need to build your own Dia de los Muertos altar!

The San Francisco (map) and Berkeley (map) Global Exchange stores are stocked with everything from retablos to sugar skull molds and meringue power to paper marigolds. Be sure to check out our colorful collection of beautiful skeleton statues, hand-made in Mexico; we have Fridas, DJs, soccer players, CEOs, skateboarders, and more!

This year we have a beautiful selection of retablos, boxes or shrines with hand painted doors which open to hold hand carved figures in colorful scenes of daily life in Peru- such as markets, shops, harvests, weddings and other ceremonies.   Our retablos are made by internationally renowned retablos maker Claudio Jimenez Quispe. Originally from a family of retablos makers in Ayacucho, Peru, where he has trained large communities of retablos makers, he now works in Lima.  Come check out the work of one of the finest craftsmen in the world!

In San Francisco, Dia de los Muertos has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession, which help us contemplate our existence and mortality — a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns. This years’ celebration will be held on Friday, November 2nd. Find out more about the procession.

For those in the East Bay, the Fruitvale Dia de los Muertos celebration will be held on Sunday, October 28th in the Fruitville Village. More information is available on their website.


Join Global Exchange for $35/year and we’ll send you a gorgeous customized Global Exchange tote bag from Handmade Expressions women’s cooperative in India, a No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy, Globalization or International Development and a bag of Equal Exchange chocolates!