On Friday, November 4th, several campus clubs came together to celebrate Día de Muertos to honor Mexican culture. Senior Díana Pureco, who organized the event, said, “It started off with just a small plan and then our amazing faculty, Mrs. Maldonado, spoke to other teachers and then during our Leadership Council meeting I prompted the idea for other clubs to come together.” She had help from other people at M-A like LUMA (Latinos Unidos M-A) and the Lideres Latinx advisors.
Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd where people spend time to remember those who have passed away and make them ofrendas, which are offerings such as flowers, food, photos, drinks, etc.
For the first time, clubs held the Día de Muertos celebration after school, on the Green from 5-7 pm, as opposed to the normal lunchtime celebration. The reason for a later celebration was to open it up to a bigger audience. Maribel Maldonado, who teaches Spanish and AVID, said, “This year we decided to open it up and make it at night so that families can come and see our culture and also for the different clubs.”
Counselor Gonzalo Alvarez added, “We wanted to have a bigger turnout to involve staff, students, families and the whole M-A community.”
At the event, students and staff sold food including arroz de leche (rice pudding made of rice, milk, and cinnamon), Salchipapas (pan-fried beef sausages and French fries, mixed together with coleslaw on the side), and chicharones (fried pork skin). The Asian Culture club sold mochi, the Student Voice & Advocacy club sold hot cocoa and candy, and the 49ers Academy gave out flowers. The Asian Culture Club, Líderes Latinx & Alidadas, the English Intensive & Wellness Club, the Pacific Islander Club, and LUMA made beautiful altares that they set around the green. Counselors, the M-A library staff, and others also created ofrendas.
There were many performances throughout the evening including Baile Folklórico de M-A, in which junior Valeria Barrón and freshmen Ashley Arellan and Alexia Lopez performed. Also Baile Folklórico México Vive de Redwood City performed dances with beautiful dresses. There was also a singing performance by M-A senior Yanely Salto Alvarez. The last performance was from the group Los Hermanos de Oro, an M-A student band made up of M-A senior Noel Duarte, junior Angel Lobe, and alumni Adrian Medina.
When asked her favorite thing about the Day of the Dead celebration, Pureco said, “My favorite thing is seeing everyone at M-A come together and not only share the Mexican culture, but also share intimate family members who have passed and seeing all of M-A’s strength in diversity.”
Maldonado said, “This year my favorite part was seeing all the students who participated and all the different representations on our campus.”
Alvares agreed, “For me, the different representation of the M-A community and how diverse it is shows through the ofrendas, as each altar represents someone’s own personality and culture.”
Día de Muertos is an important day for many M-A students. Puerco said, “Día de Muertos means remembering where your culture came from, who your ancestors are, appreciating who stood up for you and your family. It’s remembering who your family is and having a day for them.”