Dia de Muertos at EvCC

EvCC Students and Staff Celebrate their lost loved ones


Maria Behrens

The Diversity and Equity center celebrating Dia de los Muertos back in 2019.

October was Hispanic Heritage Month, and now with the coming November, Latino students and staff have even more reasons to celebrate. Nov 1 through Nov 2 is “Dia de Los Muertos” which translates to “Day of the Dead”. It is a holiday that originated in Mexico and is about celebrating the people we have lost and their lives.

Groups of people celebrating Dia de Los Muertos for the Diversity and Equity Center (Maria Behrens)

EvCC has celebrated this holiday in such a beautiful and meaningful way. Maria Behrens expressed how the Diversity and Equity Center has been celebrating it over the years. “In the past, we hosted an event with an overview of the celebration, tamales, champurrado and several contests with prizes: Catrinas, literary catrinas and altares,” Behrens says. However, due to the pandemic and social distancing, it has limited their ability to host big cultural events like these but they plan to celebrate through a virtual event on Facebook, Nov 2 at 5 pm.

During this Holiday, a traditional way of celebrating is by putting a portrait of a passed family member on a table located in the living room. Then, the passed person’s family members put what was their favorite meal next to their picture as well as common desserts. Some of these common desserts include hojaldras, calaveras de azúcar, and pan de muerto.

EvCC Student, Sofia Martinez gives us an easier way to understand. “[We] celebrate the death and give offerings, we make a plate of their favorite food, we generally give hojaldras to remember them. It’s basically like the movie CoCo,” Martinez says.

Altar seen at the DIversity and Equity Center Dia de Los Meurtos in 1019 (Maria Behrens)

“I will be making champurrado and hojaldras with my mom this year, and making an ofrenda for my Abuelita (grandma) Reyna,” Martinez says. She has celebrated this day with her mother over the years. One of her favorite memories about celebrating this holiday is baking with her family in Mexico. “[We would make] hojaldras, all kinds of tamales I remember. I would help my Tito and mom make them in our bakery.”

Courtesy Photo from Diana Jaramillo

Not only are humans celebrated during this holiday, but also pets that people have lost. Staff member and Advisor Diana Jaramillo spoke about her experience with this. Though Jaramillo has never made an altar before, “I was thinking about it this year for my deceased cats. They were like my children,” Jaramillo says.

For people that still don’t have a clear understanding of what this holiday means, many movies have come out over the years to better explain that this is all about remembering. “[Although] I’ve never made an altar before, I am inspired by what I learned through movies like Coco and Book of Life,” said Jaramillo.

This Holiday is very memorable for all Latinos, and it is a remarkable holiday for all. The celebration helps to keep the memory of lost loved ones alive by compensating with altars that surround them with things and people they loved while being alive. It’s all about remembering and honoring those that we love.

Many different items are used during Dia de Los Muertos. Some include food, while others include objects. All of them, however, have a meaning and major purpose in the making of altars.