El Dia de los Muertos celebration at South Campus

The South Campus communications department celebrated “El Día de los Muertos” between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2nd 2017. The Day of the Dead is celebrated on Nov. 2 and has been part of the Meso American culture for thousands of years. It is celebrated by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America and increasingly throughout the United States. It also coincides with All Souls Day in the Roman Catholic Faith.  Loved ones construct altars called ofrendas in Spanish that display portraits, favorite foods and special possessions of their loved ones. There is great symbolism within the decorations on the altars. There are candles that light the way and marigolds (cempasuchitl) are said to attract the souls of the deceased and guide them to this realm so that they can once again partake in some of the pleasures they once enjoyed in this life. Papel picada depicts death in various comical everyday life situations, baking, dancing and cooking.

Mr. Juan Martinez, Spanish, French and humanities professor and Cristina Doda Cárdenas, speech professor, created the altar and provided more than 50 students with an explanation of the symbolism of the altar and an explanation of the event.  Professors, Martínez, Cárdenas and Connie Duren, speech professor, along with Ms. Deshonia Monae Irvin, assistant to the communications department, provided personal pictures of saints, parents and grandparents and their favorite foods for the altar. Coloring pages of decorative skulls were provided as well as traditional Mexican refreshments of Tuti Frutti, Manzana, Naranja and Tamarindo sodas, with pan de muerto (in the shape of an orange blossom, skull bones and a cross) and Mexican cookies for all that participated.