Dia de los Muertos, also known as the day of the dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrating color and culture that takes place on November 1-2. According to Spanish professor Hortencia Nevarez, it is widely celebrated in Mexico and other Central American countries.
Las Positas hosted a celebration on the quad to honor the holiday, complete with activities that showcase Latin culture.
To become part of the experience, Nevaraz volunteered at the event for the first time. Nevarez stated, “my favorite part of the event is everyone coming together as a community and participating in fun activities like face painting, arts and crafts, and making flowers.”
Students in the Las Positas Puente program are provided a dedicated counselor to students participating in program, which utilizes Latino, Filipino, Afghani (Muslim), American Indian, European, and African American literature to strengthen critical thinking skills.
Weedah Sharifi and Alexia Zamora were volunteers for the celebration. They were in charge of the papel Picado station, where students could hand-craft snowflakes using paper and scissors.
It was both of their first times there, and they loved it. They told me their favorite part was getting to know their cohort and meeting their mentors. They both have two years left here at LPC and look forward to future events the college will put on. They also told me that the Aztec dancers were something you don’t see very often, and it is essential to the culture that it is appreciated and represented more.
As appreciative as Nevarez, the event wasn’t just about activities. Additionally, all attendees who participated in the table activities received complimentary tickets for a meal. And a drink
Students Raul Ramirez and Eric Xu, who are freshmen, were thrilled to participate in the Dia de los Muertos fun, mainly for the pan dulce, or sweet bread, along with the tacos from the food truck.
“I have been here since 9:00 am helping with the event,” stated Raul. “Meeting everyone here has been my favorite part, along with the students and faculty. I love the dancing, and the dancers have great rhythm.”
“The music attracted me here,” Xu said. Great food and great music, how could I say no?”
Puente counselor and coordinator of the event Rafael Valle, says, “I get the most joy in seeing the students interact with each other. It is a big deal that everyone came out today and volunteered. Not every day, you see this type of celebration on campus,”
While Dia de los Muertos only occurs two days out of the year, the culture celebrates the dead every day with ofrendas or altars for the dead that provide offerings like photos and candles. As the tradition continues, students, members of Puente and volunteers aim to bring the holiday celebration to campus.
Asia Alpher is an arts and entertainment editor and the social media editor for The Express. Follow her @asiaadanae.