By Melissa Mendez-Conchas
Yesterday at noon in El Dorado Hall, faculty from the ASSET Scholar Program and the Spanish Club hosted for the first time an event in honor of El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). ASSET Scholar Program invited students to commemorate the lives of those close to them who have passed and learn about the tradition behind the celebration by offering them a space to do too so.
At the event stood a community altar decorated with little sugar skulls and vivid Cempasuchil (marigold) flowers displaying photographs of deceased loved ones that attending students themselves provided with. Tissue paper with cut-out shapes in shades of yellow and orange hanging on walls and Día de los Muertos-themed songs playing in the background were all important elements for students to make them feel like this was the right place to learn and celebrate this special day as they entered the main entrance of Dorado Hall.
They did so by participating in activities like writing short poems honoring the dead known as calaveritas, coloring sugar skull coloring pages with coloring supplies and making their own handmade cempasuchil flowers accompanied with Dia de los Muertos treats like pan dulce. They made a welcoming and first-time experience even for students who had no previous knowledge of the holiday.
Overall, students who had the opportunity to attend expressed their gratitude for the initiative of the ASSET Program and Spanish Club with this new and welcoming ways to celebrate El Día de los Muertos Everything seems to indicate that they will continue to host the same event next year.
If you ever find yourself interested in learning about El Día de los Muertos or just want to honor your loved ones, even though our loved ones are no longer here with us physically, they accompany you in spirit, know that you have a place, faculty and peers that offer you the opportunity to do so every year around this time at El Dorado Hall!