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Puerto Rico’s ‘Standing Funeral’ Trend Is Real And It’s Completely Legal

Funerals aren’t known for being fun. Even when people say they want to ‘celebrate’ someone’s life, most of the time, funerals are gloomy events. Well, in Puerto Rico, there’s a trend that eschews the idea that funerals should be somber and cold.

In a move to liven up funeral ceremonies, Marin Funeral Home in Puerto Rico began organizing “standing funerals,” which let loved ones hang out with the deceased as they remembered them in life. Instead of looking at a casket, the deceased may be standing, sitting or even playing poker. Gives a whole new meaning to the word “wake.”

People first caught on to the trend in 2008, when Angel Luis “Pedrito” Pantojas Medina stood at his wake for three days.

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Image Credit: Funeraria Marin / marinfuneralhomepr.com

According to El Nuevo Día, Pantojas said he always wanted to be on his feet, even at his funeral. His family wanted to honor his wish and the Marin Funeral Home made their request a reality. The community was so impressed, a trend was born.

David Morales Colón’s family took it one step further, having his body embalmed and then placed on his Honda motorcycle.

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Image Credit: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

In life, Colon told his family he didn’t want a traditional funeral – so they immortalized the late motorcycle enthusiast on his bike. Everyone agreed it was incredibly lifelike and was as though he were still riding through the streets. He was not, however, buried with the bike, which was valued at $14,000.

Then came this paramedic, who wanted to be remembered as he served in life.

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Image Credit: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

Edgardo Velázquez, requested his family honor his occupation at his funeral. Marin honored his wishes by displaying his uniform-clad body in an ambulance, thus celebrating his life’s work.

This man was seated cross-legged as a tribute to his hero.

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Image Source: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

A soldier in life, Carlos Cabrera revered Che Guevara. In death, his family dressed him like Guevara and had him seated cross-legged with a cigar in his hand, just like his hero.

Christopher Rivera was decked out in his fight gear.

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Image Source: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

Rivera wanted to be remembered for his boxing skills, so Marin spent hours creating a fake boxing ring for his wake. He was also dressed in boxing gloves, trunks and boxing shoes.

Renato Garcia wanted to go out like a superhero.

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Image Source: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

Renato Garcia loved wearing his Green Lantern costume around town so much that his family chose to remember him as the superhero. Talk about a super fan!

And Georgina Chervony Lloren wanted to attend her own funeral service as a guest.

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Credit: Funeraria Marin/marinfuneralhomepr.com

Sitting in her rocking chair and surrounded by flowers, Georgina Chervony Lloren wore her wedding dress to her funeral, just as she wished. What a way to go out!

Although other funeral directors have called the practice “sacrilegious,” Funeraría Marin knows they’ve struck a chord with local families. So much so, that they’re keeping their signature embalming process a total secret. Is it legal? Yes. According to the Washington Post, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health has looked into the process and concluded no law has been broken.


Would you want a standing funeral? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to share on facebook and twitter!

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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