Students decorate altar to celebrate Día de los Muertos

Story by Oscar Jimenez Iniguez
Photos by Jaelynn Diokno

Students gathered Oct. 20 in North Quad’s Pinnacles lobby to decorate an altar in preparation for Día de los Muertos. 

Resident Advisor Betzabe Ruiz hosted the event with the goal of raising cultural awareness throughout the building.

“Every month we do events based on the month, and since October going into November is Día de los Muertos, we celebrate it,” said Ruiz. “This building is all about global perspectives, so we are focused on bringing different cultures to the building since most of the students are international.”

Ruiz’s own cultural and ethnic background was something that she wanted to incorporate for the event.  

“I am Hispanic, so my way of bringing more culture into the building is to share my own culture and since Día de los Muertos is right around the corner I decided to do this theme,” Ruiz said. 

For Ruiz, Día de los Muertos is an important event that she feels best represents what her community and culture is all about.

“It is huge in the Latino community, especially in Mexico where it originates from,” she said. “It’s our way of celebrating past ones. Even though you can celebrate them throughout the year, it holds more significance around this time of the year.”

Students decorated the altar with photo frames and wooden cutouts colored using acrylic markers.

“The event is really fun, I like the decorations and art that are getting put up,” said Marine Science major Kaitlyn Alvarez. “I am Latin, so Día de los Muertos holds a lot of cultural significance to me. My family back home is actually putting up their own altar so it is nice to see one being put up here.”

Students who want to put photos of their dead loved ones and public figures on the altar are encouraged to do so.

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