Día de los Muertos Event at M-A Celebrates Life

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Photos courtesy of Celine Chien.

Día de los Muertos, or “The Day of the Dead,” is a way for Latin American communities to celebrate the lives of family members that have passed away. This year, M-A’s Intercultural Leadership class hosted an evening event on the Green with altars, traditional hispanic foods, and music, as well as face painting of festive skeletons around the Green in a museum style.

Although the holiday is mostly celebrated in Mexico, students from all different backgrounds came to celebrate and show their appreciation for the beautiful tradition. Senior and Intercambio Club president Sienna Aylaian said, “To me, this celebration means getting together and appreciating those you love who have passed away. Not to mourn their death, but to appreciate their life. I’m not Hispanic but I feel like the message can resonate with people of any culture.”

Clubs set up altars around the Green to honor their family members. Junior and Care Bear Club president Paulina Cisneros shared her experience of making an altar, saying, “This day is very important to me because it’s a way to remember all of my ancestors and connect with them in a way while making the altar and putting up their pictures. It’s nice to remember all the memories with them.”

The Asian Culture Club set up an altar honoring Asian advocates for civil rights who have passed away. Junior Zack Cundy said, “It represents racial solidarity between different cultural groups.” All of the different cultures that showed up to the Hispanic event truly showed the strength in diversity at M-A.

Math teacher Rachel Andres shared a touching story about her best friend who passed away from breast cancer. Andres made a beautiful altar filled with strong women who battled breast cancer. “There’s a lot of connection to breast cancer, so this is a way for me to honor them and spread some breast cancer awareness.”

This was the second year that M-A hosted the celebration, so Latinos Unidos of M-A (LUMA) club members decided to bring back what worked well at last year’s event. Junior Julissa Madrigal said, “We thought about what we did last year and what we wanted to continue doing this year. We were just collaborating on ideas about how to make the altars and the face paintings.”

The night went on with dances from M-A’s Baile Folklorico and Baile Hispano Clubs, who performed traditional folklórico dance and Honduran baile de punta respectively. Senior and Baile Hispano club member Valeria Barron explained the importance of multiple Latin American communities coming together to celebrate: “It represents different subcultures through dance.”

The celebration ended with a performance by the Los Hermanos de Oro band. It was exciting to see altars for and remember famous Hispanic people who have played an important role in shaping Hispanic culture. All of the vibrant colors and festive foods made Hispanic students feel proud of their heritage on this night to remember.

Karen is a junior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to write narratives about her own life and connect them with other students from M-A. In her free time, she likes to write poetry, spend time with her cat, Joy, and family and friends.

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