Día de los Muertos on Campus

Ashley Vera, Photographer

This week, Downey High School had events and decorations to celebrate the week of Día de los Muerto. The events were put on by Folklorico Club and United for Culture Club which are both important DHS clubs for learning about foreign cultures.  This is the first year at Downey that students have put on Día de los Muertos events at the school.


According to freshman Sophia Checa, the president of United for Culture, they had “altars set up in five different areas of the school”, and wanted to do something for Día de los Muertos because “There are a lot of people in Downey who celebrate Día de los Muertos,” and thought “it would be fun for everyone to learn about the day with the events.” The altars set up were in R-building, the attendance office, the guidance office, and College and Career center. On the altars were Día de los Muertos themed banners, calaveras, marigolds, and candles, all of which are traditional decorations for the celebrations.  


Folklorico Club chose to express their appreciation of Día de los Muertos through the arts.  The club offered face painting the day before Dia de los Muertos, and had a performance at snack the next day. For club member Litzy Plata, 12, this day holds a special importance.  


“In Mexican culture, el Día de los Muertos is something very happy;, it’s full of life.  You remember what you have lived, what you have gone through, and you remember that you are going to a better place,” Plata said.  “It’s the one night that all the family is united, they’re united in spirit and in heart, and that’s what Dia de los Muertos means.  Its family, friends, its food, its company, it’s tradition.”


Mr. Vasquez, who is an advisor for both United for Culture and Folklorico Club as well as a Spanish teacher, is familiar with the celebration of Día de los Muertos and shares how he celebrates.  


“I help the students here for Día de los Muertos and do these events.  This year, they wanted to make it more accessible across campus, so they did the altars.  At home I do my own celebration, my own altar, my own food,” Vasquez said. “I do like to celebrate it and I like to see other people celebrate it.  As long as we can celebrate it one way or another I don’t mind what we do.”


The celebration of Día de los Muertos takes many forms, which is what was shown this week on campus.