A group of volunteers have launched the San Diego COVID-19 victims memorial project. They are hoping to unite families who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus and create tributes for them.
"This is to let people know these are your neighbors that are dying," said co-creator of the project, Lori Saldaña.
In order to remember the victims, the group has created virtual and physical tributes. They are setting up the first physical tributes at the Sherman Heights Community Center.
"Many times we're used to grieving in private, but I think there's a real strength and healing to do that with others around," Saldaña said.
Saldaña and her partner Cynara Velasquez were inspired by the colorful ofrendas, known as altars that are displayed across the Sherman Heights Community Center for Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
"In our culture, the idea that your soul departs and that there is no one around to be there when it happens it makes it even more important that we welcome them back," said Saldaña.
Photos: Volunteers Launch San Diego COVID-19 Memorial Project
The group said the altars are open to any family and are cross-cultural. There is more information on the resources offered the COVID-19 memorial project here.