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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Campus celebrates Día de Los Muertos

Gabriella Groves
Puente and MI CASA students add offerings to the altar to celebrate Día de Los Muertos on Oct. 31. Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated in Mexico to honor family and friends who are deceased on Nov. 1 and 2.

Puente and the Multicultural Innovative Community for Academic Success and Achievement (MI CASA) hosted an event in the College Center on Oct. 31 to celebrate Día de Los Muertos.

Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a two-day tradition that started in Mexico where deceased loved ones are celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2.

“Puente has been a long-standing program here at Cosumnes River College on campus since 2005,” said Puente Program Coordinator and Counselor Liliana Mendoza. “Setting up an altar has always been one of the signature events for Puente on campus.”

Mendoza invited co-directors of Ocelotecame, an education and arts organization in Sacramento, Yolzelik Medina and Pablo Bermudez. This is their second year coming to CRC to share the significance of Día de Los Muertos, share their experiences and help students create a traditional altar.

“I invited them because for me I actually did not grow up with setting up an altar but my family still acknowledged a time in their own way,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said this event is very significant because it honors those who have crossed and celebrates life.

Although the tradition has started in Mexico, other parts of Latin America celebrate Día de Los Muertos and some parts of Mexico celebrate it differently, according to Medina.

Medina said the reason why she and Bermudez decided to come is to share their wisdom and to celebrate because recently she has experienced loss in her life.

“I’m hoping that students will take a little piece of knowledge from what we bring and that it will instill a desire to do something like this at home,” Medina said.

Día de Los Muertos represents the bridge that separates the living from the dead, according to Medina.

Students from Puente and MI CASA attended and created ofrendas, or offerings, for the altar. The offerings consisted of creating flowers, decorating sugar skulls and placing fruit on a plate. Among many of the offerings, Medina said that traditionally the deceased person’s favorite food would be placed on the altar.

Bermudez said Día de los Muertos is a spiritual, sacred tradition that he’s learned through his connection with his culture and he wanted to share his knowledge with students.

“I came here to hopefully be able to guide the staff who invited us here and the students who are here joining us and allow this tradition to go on,” Bermudez said.

Students got some pan dulce while they worked on flowers, plants and sugar skulls on the work stations set up. After they were done making their offerings, they placed their items on the altar.

Jose Gonzalez, Interim Director of HSI – MI CASA Grant Project, said the event was to show the campus more of the Latin culture.

“It’s that knowledge that we are sharing with other students about our culture. It’s something beautiful that we utilize to remember our loved ones,” Gonzalez said. “Even if they are not part of Puente or MI CASA, they could still do something similar like this.”


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About the Contributor
Gabriella Groves
Gabriella Groves, Staff Writer
Gabriella Groves is a staff writer for the Connection newspaper. She joined the Connection to enhance her writing skills, experience the work environment for journalism and push herself into trying something new that is a part of her major. She has been on staff for three semesters, writing a variety of different types of stories and will be transferring to University of Missouri in the Spring 2024. She enjoys running, hanging out with friends and listening to The Weeknd.

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