Honoring the dead at Día de los Muertos

Open house lets students experience Mexican traditions

For those who attended the college’s Día de los Muertos celebration, death was something to be celebrated.

“I think it’s the beauty of life and death merging together in celebration and joy and peace,” Mexican-American studies student Mary Volkman about the most important part of the holiday, which translates to Day of the Dead and is celebrated throughout Mexico.

Volkman and her husband brought photos of deceased loved ones to add to the memorial at the Nov. 2 event, hosted by the Communications, Language and Reading Department.

“Today is really important to sit back and think about those people in your life and who we loved and what they did for you over your lifetime,” said Dale Volkman, Mary’s husband, who celebrated the holiday for the first time in Mexico City.

Attendees were greeted by a sign that read “Pintores Famosos,” which translates to “Famous Painters,” and there were many photos of painters below the sign.

The open house featured many traditional Mexican pastries available for consumption, as well as sugar skulls that they could decorate, and fruit punch and coffee to drink while the movie “The Book of Life” played via projector. Decorations hung from the ceiling and at the back of the room was a memorial dedicated to those who had passed, including family members of some of the attendees.

“Some of my family have shrines at their house and we would put up deceased family members on the shrine. When I was younger some of my family would take us out to celebrate the Day of the Dead,” said Joey Herrera, who accompanied a friend to the event.

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