By Quiaira Terrell / Staff Writer / Twitter: @qhiairablanco
The Coalition for Latino Advancement will celebrate the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with indigenous crafts and the sharing of Latino culture.
The Coalition for Latino Advancement will host the event with the support of the Development of Afro-American Professionals (DAAP), the Spanish Club and the History Club.
Dia de los Muertos is traditionally a two-day celebration starting on Nov. 1. It has Aztec and Spanish influences and is comparable to the American tradition of Halloween.
Issey Hernandez, president of the coalition, said, “It is a very old holiday. The purpose is to honor, remember and commemorate ancestors and loved ones who have passed.”
One of the activities significant to Dia de los Muertos is building altars. Altars are built in honor of a loved one who has died and are decorated with objects that represent the person such as pictures of them, colorful decorations and even food offerings. The clubs will create altars to commemorate members’ deceased loved ones.
“If it is a child being honored, sometimes people leave toys on the altar,” Hernandez said. “Sometimes, the dead are offered pan de muerto, or bread of the dead in English.”
At the event, altars can be made to remember anyone who has died, including those who are not relatives.
“The Chemistry Club wants to make altars to their favorite scientists,” Hernandez said. “We want to keep an open mind and not limit the creativity.”
Another significant part of the holiday is the painting of sugar skulls. In Mexico, skulls can either be made or bought from local markets. The skull may have the person’s name engraved on it and is painted in colors and patterns that are bright, colorful and representative of the honored. During the event, people will be given ceramic skulls to decorate and paint.
Aside from skull painting and decorating altars, a cultural presentation will be made and speakers will highlight the cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos and the connection between Mexican cultures and others around the world.
At the end of the event, organizers will screen “The Book of Life,” a children’s movie that aims to simplify the idea of Dia de los Muertos and the concept of accepting the death of a loved one.
Dia de los Muertos will be on the LAC Quad from noon-3 p.m. and will move into the Nordic Lounge from 3-5 p.m.
Cindy Macias, a Spanish Club member, said, “We’ve been focusing on Noche de Loteria lately because it’s a huge event for the club. After that, we’ll start to gear our focus on Dia de los Muertos.” Noche de Loteria is scheduled for today, Oct. 22, from 6-9 p.m. in T1200.
More information on attending or volunteering for Spanish Club events may be obtained from club president Juan David Pazmiño at (562) 881-0123.