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Pink coffins with Barbie liners? It's on offer at an El Salvador funeral home

Isaac Villegas, owner of a funeral home in Ahuachapán, said he already offered pink coffins, but the Barbie craze spurred him to add linings with pictures of the doll.
According to the funeral home manager, the idea was well received as a joyful atmosphere to the loss of a loved one.
A pink coffin featuring a Barbie motif at a funeral home in Ahuachapán, El Salvador, on Friday.Salvador Melendez / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A funeral home in El Salvador has taken Barbie mania to an extreme, offering pink coffins with Barbie linings.

It’s all designed so you can be a Barbie fan till the day you die — and even after that.

The pink metal coffins are on sale at the Alpha and Omega Funeral Home in the city of Ahuachapán, near the border with Guatemala.

Owner Isaac Villegas said Friday he had already offered the option of pink coffins before the July premiere of the Barbie movie. But the craze that swept Latin America convinced him to decorate the cloth linings of the coffins with pictures of the doll. The coffins are also decorated with little white stars.

“I said, ‘We have to jump on this trend,’” Villegas said of the coffins, noting “it has been a success.”

He said the funeral home has already launched a promotional campaign around the Barbie boxes, and has sold 10 of them. Though that doesn’t mean 10 people have actually been buried in them — many people in El Salvador buy a pre-paid package for future burial.

Villegas said that until a year ago, families had preferred traditional coffins in colors like brown, black, white or gray. But a year ago, he sold his first pink coffin to family who wanted their very happy relative buried in a happier-colored coffin.

Now he has no plans to turn back, though he still offers darker colors.

“We are going to have more pink coffins, because people are asking for it,” he said.

Latin America jumped on Barbie mania with pink-colored tacos and pastries, commercial planes bearing the Barbie logo, political ads, and even Barbie-themed protests.

The famous doll’s theme has also taken a macabre tone.

In July, anti-government demonstrators dressed up two women in pink and put them in giant Barbie boxes in the main square of Lima, Peru’s capital, to protest President Dina Boluarte, under whose administration police have often clashed with protesters.

And in Mexico, a sister of one of Mexico’s 112,000 missing people began sewing doll outfits to make a “Searching Mother” Barbie, referring to the volunteers who fan out across Mexico’s dusty plains to search for gravesites that might contain their children’s remains. Her creator, volunteer searcher Delia Quiroa, hopes to publicize the plight of mothers who have to carry out the searches and investigations police won’t do.