By Sadie Slager
Ohio Wesleyan’s Latin American culture group, VIVA Latinoamericana, wrapped up its celebratory Hispanic Heritage Month with an important Mexican tradition.
On Nov. 1, members of VIVA created their second annual Día de los Muertos, (“Day of the Dead” in English), display in the HamWill atrium.
Día de los Muertos honors, through the creation of altars, friends and family who have passed away.
Junior Hazel Barrera, president of VIVA, said the altar included flowers, pictures from some of OWU students’ relatives, decorations, candles and skulls.
There was also a path made out of rice and beans which was meant to lead the dead to the altar.
Barrera said Día de los Muertos is important because it is the only time members of the Mexican or Latin American culture can revisit and spend time with their deceased relatives.
“They come and eat the food and drink the water,” she said.
“This is an important day to honor them and remember them.”
Junior Jenna Ortega, a member of VIVA, said Día de los Muertos is a unique holiday because it is a holiday dedicated to death.
“I think that Americans avoid the topic of death and don’t always recognize the lives of their deceased loved ones,” she said.
“It is important to recognize death and to honor our loved ones with prayer and celebration.”
Ortega said Día de los Muertos highlights what makes Latin American culture special and unique.
“The thing that makes Latin American culture different from American culture is that Latin Americans recognize and accept death where Americans tend to look past it and avoid it,” she said.
Barrera said the next event hosted by VIVA will be a guest speaker from Colombia on Nov. 12, but the next cultural celebration will be Las Posadas, a Spanish holiday in December.