Day of the Dead at NE Campus

Travis Rackley

The Day of the Dead is a massive cultural and spiritual Mexican holiday where the souls of the departed are said to return to the world of the living and visit with family, it is an occasion where families honor lost loved ones by creating an altar to celebrate their memory. While the Day of the Dead may be celebrated primarily in Mexico, its influence can be found as far as  NE Campus.

Organization of Latin American Students hosted the event Nov. 1 to preserve and celebrate Mexican and Latin American culture and share it with TCC students with a festive event in NSTU’s north hallway according to OLAS member Helena Cangieter.

“It is a day where the departed are back with us and we celebrate their existence,” Cangieter said. “It is a way to keep our history going”

 OLAS member and TCC student Reyna Jiménez explained what celebrating Day of the Dead typically involves in Mexican culture.

“There’s always an altar to the departed with pictures of them and their favorite foods and items,” Jimenez said. “it is to honor them as they are with us in spirit.”

Jimenez said altars are almost always adorned with candles, which are supposed to serve as a beacon to the dead to guide them so that they may visit the living. And sugar skulls are often added  to represent the departed with some practitioners writing the names of the deceased on the forehead of the skulls.

  The event was coordinated by Christina Rivera the leader of OLAS spoke of some of the event’s activities such as the sale of several treats for sale such as traditional Mexican sweetbread called Conchas, which is often placed upon the altars of the deceased and Mexican hot chocolate along with Day of the Dead themed chocolate cupcakes all for a dollar per treat.

Students could also have their picture taken in front of a Day of the Dead-themed backdrop with a flamenco dancer in full Day of the Dead attire with an assortment of props and can strike a pose to remember the event and show off their souvenirs, Cangieter said.

 The event also had several souvenirs for sale in addition to the food, including Day of the Dead themed scrunchies and many varied little Halloween decorations and adornments for sale as Day of the Dead and Halloween often experience a lot of cross-over due to their dates being so close together and sharing similar macabre themes.