CRC community builds traditional altar for Día de Muertos celebration


Emanuel Espinoza

The Center for Inclusion and Belonging hosted an event on Nov. 1 celebrating Día de Muertos by building an altar to pay respect to those who passed. Día de Muertos is an annual celebration.

The Center for Inclusion and Belonging hosted an event celebrating Día de Muertos by building an altar to pay respect to those who passed.

The event was formed by Ocelotecame, an education and arts organization in Sacramento, with help from the Puente Project and MI CASA. One of the main organizers was Cosumnes River College Counselor Liliana Mendoza, who serves as coordinator for Puente.

Mendoza said this event came to bebecause Puente does Día de Muertos as an annual celebration. It’s one of Puente’s signature events.

“Día de Muertos is a signature event that happens in not only Mexico, but throughout Latin America,” Mendoza said. “It’s one that we, as Puente, decided to do in order to bring awareness about this cultural tradition.”

Co-directors of Ocelotecame, Pablo Bermudez and Lorena Bermudez, were also involved in organizing this event. Pablo said that Mendoza invited them to share a traditional altar with the community and they were glad to participate in the event.

This wasn’t the first time Ocelotecame had participated in an event like this. Pablo said that in past events when they did Día de Muertos, they would hold a vigil, the process of building the altar and honoring ancestors with dance and music.

“We would like to thank Liliana and Puente for allowing us the space,” Lorena said. “It’s very welcoming and beautiful to see all the students coming together putting this altar together. They’re very gifted and we’re happy to be here.”

Many groups of students and staff helped set up decorations for the altar. From marigolds to flower making, the process of making the altar had different sections to it. Some groups worked on flowers, other groups worked on putting photos on the altar.

Sarah Ledesma, an 18-year-old art design major and Puente member, said that as a Mexican-American, she takes part in Day of the Dead to celebrate the remembrance of her relatives.

“I’m excited for this event,” Ledesma said. “There are a lot of people here, even though we’re not all culturally the same, I love the unity and the introduction of what our culture is so that there is more of an understanding of what we do.”