The Cougar Chronicle

MEChA celebrates Dia de los Muertos at CSUSM

Altars set up on and around Kellogg Plaza in celebration of Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.

Altars set up on and around Kellogg Plaza in celebration of Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.

Jada Mullins

Jada Mullins

Altars set up on and around Kellogg Plaza in celebration of Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.

Stephany Meija, News Editor

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Sugar skulls, flowers and the smell of sage filled Kellogg Plaza in celebration of Dia de los Muertos (the day of the dead).

On Nov. 2, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx Aztlán (MEChA) and other organizations had tables full of decorations and marigolds for the celebration. The celebration began at approximately 9 a.m. with MEChA serving Mexican sweet bread.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday to honor those who passed away. Altars are decorated with marigolds, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), candles, water and other things along with a photo of the person who passed.

MEChA’s table had sage burning. Student Maria Torres used sage towards students as they lined up for this ritual to “eliminate negative energy and bring peace,” said Torres.

Ballet Folklorico de CSUSM performed three dances for the audience.

The table for Women Studies 350 had photos of Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldua and singer-songwriter Selena Quintanilla. They had a slice of pizza to represent Selena’s love for pizza and a handmade doll to represent women.

The Cross-Cultural Center’s table represented those killed in the Mexican earthquake of Sept. 19 and those lost in hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Latino based fraternity, Nu Alpha Kappa and sorority Alpha Pi Sigma displayed pictures of fallen brothers and sisters before them.

Society for Advancing Chicano/Hispanic and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS) displayed picture of famous scientists such as Albert Einstein and George Washington Carver.

Spanish honor society, Sigma Delta Pi, table represented the lost one from the Orlando shooting in 2016, Las Vegas shooting this last October and the 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa, missing since 2014.

The CSUSM Border Angels table represented the 11,000 deaths in the attempt of crossing the Mexico-U.S. border. The number 11,000 was written with marigolds.

College Assistance Migrant Program displayed photos of artist Frida Kahlo, singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel, actor Mario Alfonso Moreno (Cantinflas), first Mexican President Benito Juarez and many more.

Graduate student Vanessa Martinez read to the attendees a poem she wrote about sugar skulls being used for profit and misrepresenting Dia de los Muertos.

She began the poem speaking softly, describing the altar her mother made for her grandmother. Her voice became louder and stronger speaking of sugar skulls face paintings being used for likes on social media.

Martinez said, “My gente (people) are not for sale and we are not inferior.” The audience clapped and cheered as she said those words.

To view photos of the event visit MEChA’s Instagram: @mechadecsusm

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