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CEIS Students Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an annual celebration in Mexico and Mexican culture to remember and celebrate the lives loved ones and help in their spiritual journey. Traditional decorations include marigolds, which are the flowers of the dead, incense, sugar skulls and more.
While alters are traditionally built to honor deceased family members, classes from the Interdisciplinary General Education and Ethnic & Women’s Studies departments each decided on a specific theme to represent.
“We had just been talking about it [the border] in class. With the election coming up, it was really personal,” said LaVelle Delgado, environmental biology major. “People are trying to defy nature to keep us apart and it’s not natural.”
First-year student Alexandra Vazquez said that she enjoys the class discussions.
“This is my first year, so I’m enjoying learning stuff we hadn’t talked about in high school,” she said. “I’m learning about my own history.”
Each student contributed a quilt square that honored a deceased family member or historical figure.
“My uncle used to collect Native American artifacts, so my square has a Kachina doll in memory of him,” said first-year student Kurt Bennet.
Richard Navarro, ethnic and women’s studies professor, has been attending the event for years. He offers participating in the event as one of the service-learning options in his classes.
“One of the things I like about Cal Poly Pomona’s Dia De Los Muertos event is that it’s become a university celebration,” he said. “It started out as a small celebration for the Hispanic students thrown by the Cesar Chavez Center at the stables, and now you see more clubs and departments taking part in it.”