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The student news site of Los Medanos College

Experience

The student news site of Los Medanos College

Experience

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Dia de los Muertos honored at LMC

Students gather to reminisce
Photos+of+late+loved+ones+are+displayed+on+an+altar+for+Dia+de+los+Muertos+event.
Angella Dorado
Photos of late loved ones are displayed on an altar for Dia de los Muertos event.

Many honored their loved ones and celebrated Dia de los Muertos Nov. 2 in the Pittsburg Student Union Conference Center. The event, hosted by the LatinX and Puente clubs, was designed as a safe space to come together as a community.

World Languages Department Chair Victor Coronado Barraza said he hoped everyone would get to understand the true meaning of the holiday. He read La Leyenda de la Flor, an Aztec legend of the cempasúchil flower and two lovers who were reunited in the afterlife with the flower. 

He said that cempasúchil is an important part of Dia de los Muertos because it is what guides spirits back to the homes of their loved ones. 

The community remembered their loved ones who have passed on by placing photos of them on an altar, also known as an ofrenda, outside of the Conference Center. The organizers also put together a slideshow of photos of their late friends and family. 

“The slideshows are for us to see our loved ones, remember them, and honor them,” Nicole Fernandez, co-president of Puente said. “That’s one way of celebrating today.”

Some attendees got their faces painted like La Catrina, a skeleton that is a prominent symbol in the celebration. Coronado Barraza said it comes from a drawing of a skeleton created to promote a sense of unity in Mexican society.

“The meaning behind it was that it doesn’t matter how fancy you dress yourself, how much money you have, or what you wear,” he said. “Underneath all of that, we’re all the same. We’re all skeletons.”

What gained the most attention was Banda La Iniciativa, the live band that performed in the second half of the event. 

“Ultimately what people are really here for is la banda,” said Anthony Scoggins, co-coordinator for Puente.

The band brought the community even closer as many people danced to the music with each other. Joshua Womack was one of the many students out on the dance floor that night. He said this was his first time dancing and participating in an event like this and it was a lot of fun. It gave him an opportunity to get in touch with his Hispanic roots.

“People should participate in more events like this, especially when it comes to their heritage,” Womack said. “Seeing where you’re from just enriches your life even more and allows you to know who you are and who you’re related with.”

Scoggins was impressed with how well the event turned out. He said its coordination was mostly led by LatinX and Puente students.

“There were a lot of people involved in this but we should give credit mostly to the students,” he said. “It’s more fun when the students run it.”

Scoggins aspires that the Dia de los Muertos event would help create a better environment for members of the LMC community. He also aims for people to be able to enjoy the safe space by coming together as a community. 

“Learning communities are about getting together and having fun and getting to know each other and allowing students to lead,” Scoggins said.

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Angella Dorado
Angella Dorado, Staff Writer

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