Que me Velen Para’o: Ritos Funerarios y Marginalidad en el Puerto Rico del Siglo XXI

LUIS JAVIER CINTRÓN GUTIÉRREZ, UPR Departamento de Sociología y Antropología



My name is Luis Javier Cintrón-Gutiérrez, and I’m (starting in August) a Ph.D. student of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies from State University of New York at Albany and a M.A. Degree candidate in Communications with emphases in Media and Contemporary Culture from Ferré Rangel School of Communication at  Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (USC).  I received my M.A. in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras (UPRRP) and a B.A. in Political Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). I have been a Graduate Research Assistant at Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the UPRRP and  Center for Social Research of UPRRP, and Undergraduate Research Assistant at Center for Applied Social Research and the Interdisciplinary Center for Coastal Studies of the UPRM.



The wake is the last opportunity that has the body to project itself of the community and society. Since 2008, in Puerto Rico a few practices have been environment to how the corpse is projected in its last public appearance. In this ritual, the defunct body assumes a performance, putting out the coffin and simulating a frozen pose life. This phenomenon has been called the “exotic funeral” and the “muertos para’os”. This paper makes a sociological approach to this emerging and contemporary ritual of passage in this Caribbean country using participative observation, interviews with some family members and managers of funeral homes and a collection of news coverage. It focuses on the wake outside the coffin as a cultural manifestation of the Puerto Rican narcoculture has and how it penetrated other popular and marginalized sectors in the country.



Full Paper: Cintron-Gutierrez, 2016

Powerpoint: Cintron-Gutierrez