PHOENIX — Posadas are a Christmas tradition in many countries in Latin America and for many Latinos in the U.S. For context, posada means shelter in Spanish.
During this Christmas tradition families and friends walk together reenacting the journey Mary and Joseph took to find a safe shelter for the birthing of Jesus.
It’s customary for families and friends to hold candles and sing carols as they ask for shelter and as they make their way into the home hosting them.
At the end, families and friends share a meal and break a piñata.
Because of the pandemic, celebrating with family and friends may look different this year, but thanks to Chicanos por la Causa families can still be part of this tradition virtually.
“Our message is that we want people to stay home to take care of themselves and to take care of others. We’re asking people to make the sacrifice of enjoying the posadas, but enjoying them from home,” stated Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Chicanos por la Causa.
“It’s an important season for many in the Latino and many in the Christian community. We want everyone to enjoy the celebration and joy of the season. All we’re asking is that it be done safely because we’re still in a pandemic,” said Galindo-Elvira.
For some people, "las posadas" have been part of their life growing up in a Mexican-American household.
“To me what’s special about the posadas is making the journey that Mary and Joseph did before baby Jesus was born and just traveling to the different houses,” expressed Anna Quesada.
Quesada is 73 years old and says she’s been celebrating posadas for as long as she remembers, but her favorite part is singing.
She says she knows this year’s posada will be different, she also knows because of her age she’s at higher risk to the pandemic.
“I think it is for the best that we think of each other and we should wait for the coming year. It should be a better year next year.”
The Latino community is one of the populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We feel we have a responsibility to care for our community and to give them opportunities to stay home and still enjoy music from the posadas,” said Galindo-Elvira.
He says staying home may be the greatest expression of love you can give this holiday season.
“What a better time of the year to really show goodwill toward men and women by understanding that we all have a place and a role within this pandemic.”
A role Quesada says she hopes we as a community take very seriously.
“I would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and happy new year, hopefully 2021 will be a better year,” said Quesada.
To watch the virtual posada tonight at 7 p.m., click here.