Seeing beyond Dia de los Muertos

The celebration Dia De Los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday that brings together a community on campus to celebrate their loved ones.

Dia De Los Muertos is a traditional holiday that is widely celebrated in Mexico, the U.S. and in many Latin American countries. The holiday celebrates and remembers the lives of loved ones that have passed on. 

To celebrate the lives of the deceased, many set ofrendas, an altar filled with pictures of the deceased with food and drinks they once enjoyed to welcome their spirits back. Starting from November 1, the spirits of children reunite with their families while the spirits of adults rejoin their families on November 2.

At the UW Tacoma campus, the Latinx Student Union held their own Dia De Los Muertos celebration in which students got to attend the second annual event to celebrate their own loved ones that have passed away. 

Students had an altar with pictures of icons of Hispanic and Latin descent that have passed on such as Selena Quintanilla and Vicente Fernandez. Students were also able to add their own pictures of their pets and the family members they wanted to remember. 

Photo by Leslie Cruz | Student added pictures of loved ones they have lost and are remembering on this holiday.

Diana Sanchez is a sophomore with a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish language and cultures and secretary of the Latinx Student Union.

“We do our altars (at home) with mezcal, cempasúchil (marigold) flowers, pan de muertos (sweet bread for the dead), we also go to the cemetery and drink. We all just celebrate our dead at the cemetery for one day and our altars just stay up until the mezcal is gone,” said Sanchez.

“I think it’s very important to know that there is a community at a university that’s very diverse, we have a lot of cultures here everywhere. The Latinx Student Union disappeared before COVID and didn’t become active until last year,” said Sanchez.

“We’ve built a community, this is the most I’ve seen people from my own culture,” said Sanchez.

“By developing a specific community, we want to have a safe space for anyone who is Latin-identifying. Personally I’m not a typical Latinx, I’m biracial so it kinda just gives me a sense of community,” said Ashley Lowy, the Student President of the Latinx Student Union. 

The Latinx Student Union invites all students to join regardless of whether they identify as Latinx or just want to learn more.

Meetings are held bi-weekly in the Snoqualmie building room CEI from 12:30-1:30 p.m. You can find more information available on their Instagram @lsuwt.