Art & Culture

Students celebrate El Dia De Los Muertos

Two Spanish classes at SBHS share how they celebrated El Dia De Los Muertos

El Dia De Los Muertos is a Nov. 1 holiday that some San Benito High School teachers celebrated with their students during class.

Spanish teachers Leticia Villegas and Pat Adams, for example, had their students make altars, an important component of the annual celebration. Villegas’ Spanish classes created altars that included candles, flowers, incense, salt, photo of the deceased, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, fruit, and, in some cases, the person's favorite foods.

Not everyone added all of these items to their altars. Villegas asked students to create an altar in a shoe box. Once they were finished, they were showcased in the school library along with those created by Adams’ class.

For Adams’ Advanced Placement Spanish class, students created an altar, while his Spanish 2 class watched a video. Adams had his lower-level courses make a calaverita (or a skull), of someone famous, dead or alive. They also wrote their epitaph on a tombstone that makes fun on the concept of death.

Some people that celebrate this tradition create altars at home, making the difuntos (favorite dishes), and by visiting their loved ones in the cemetery. Adams said he wanted his students to know that this celebration shows how they “don’t need to be scared of death because it's part of life" and to “remember the dead as well as make light of it.”

The tradition has roots in the Catholic faith. El Dia De Los Muertos, a tradition that originated in Mexico but is now is worldwide, has been celebrated for many years because “as mortals we hope one day we to will be remembered as we depart.”

By maintaining all these traditions, participants believe, it ensures that this will be true.

Clarissa Corona

I am a sophomore at SBHS.