Albert Morales was a beloved grandfather, pastor and decorated war veteran. But he died alone in a hospital room.
“No hugs, no final kisses,” said former state Rep. Jason Villalba, the grandson of Morales.
Morales is one of many North Texas Latinos who have died from COVID-19.
"It's a terrible way to go much like this call right now. When he transitioned he was surrounded only by the cold screen of an iPad,” Villalba said.
Latinos make up 60% of COVID-19 deaths in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but only 40% of the total area population, according to a study by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation.
"This disease is still devastating,” Villalba said.
On Sunday, the League of United Latin American Citizens is hosting a march and car caravan to remember those who have died of COVID-19. The event begins at 2 p.m. in Downtown Dallas for Día de los Muertos.
“We want to call them by name. We want to be able to see them,” said Hilda Duarte, the president of the Dallas chapter of LULAC.
Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico when people remember their lost loved ones by decorating altars with their favorite foods and other personal items.
This year, the group is decorating cars.
“And by doing this caravan we hope they know we are with them. Our feelings are with them,” Duarte said.
Villaba's family will have tamales on Sunday in honor of Morales, who loved the food.
To join LULAC's Day of the Dead Caravan for Victims of COVID-19, email firstname.lastname@example.org.