Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Day of the Dead celebrated at Roosevelt High School

Posted on 20 November 2017 by calvin

As told by JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ, Spanish Immersion
This was the first year that Roosevelt High School organized an event for El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. The idea was to celebrate our Latino diversity and multicultural traditions at Roosevelt High School with the broader community. La Catrina is the most popular icon of the Day of the Dead festivals from around the world. She is known as the ‘ambassadress of death,’ a beautiful skeleton lady dressed in elegant clothes. In Latin American countries, we react to death with mourning, but also with celebration and joy. We know that death is among us, and we have learned to accept it.

As a teacher, I want to make sure that my students acquire the language and culture of Spanish speaking countries through meaningful exposure. Re-enacting some of the legends and traditions of El Dia de los Muertos was such an opportunity.

Photo right: Student Romina Tello dressed as La Catrina. The story of La Catrina inspired me to involve the high school students: to make them aware of the beauty and the richness of our roots and to help the students show that to others with pride. México is not the only country in Latin America that celebrates the Day of the Dead. In many other countries as well, it is believed that the dead come back and re-join their families on Oct. 31, and depart again on Nov. 2. 




Photo left: To include all of the students, we created a collection of legends that are told across Latin America. The legends were chosen by the students themselves, and this was the beginning of a writing process in both English and Spanish. Many of the students’ essays appeared on the altars they made for the Museum of the Dead, which was set up down in the basement.


Photo right: In many homes and cemeteries, altars such as these are prepared to honor the dead.





Photo left: Student Marie Peterson offered face painting to visitors of all ages. Following the presentations and and tours, which were given in both English and Spanish, pozole was served to guests at no cost. Pozole is a traditional Mexican corn soup made on special holidays. 



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