They must check out before midnight.

For my Catholic family this is the month of Holy Souls, and tonight at midnight they - those dearly departed who have been among us since October 31 - must return to their realm before midnight tonight.

This is Jorge’s altar remembering them. I asked if there were any bad people among those departed souls — and the answer was “No - they were all good.”

Many hotels in Merida use these altars to ‘decorate’ for tourists. Here, in Casa Mexilio, its located in the Old Kitchen and it’s real and not a decoration.

But I have to tell a secret. The tablecloth he used came from my very Methodist North Florida grandmother whose husband was part Seminole Indian. Their lives backed up to that largest of swamps that straddles the border of Georgia and Florida, the Okefenokee — where legend tells of Mayan adventurers crossing the Gulf of Mexico, entering the mouth of the Sewanee River and paddling to its source in the swamp.

So maybe I’m a fraction Maya, by way of my Seminole heritage. You think ?

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