California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

CEJ and LASO display Día De Los Muertos ofrendas to honor and recognize deceased loved ones

Día De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the many observances celebrated by the Latinx community at California Lutheran University commemorating and honoring deceased loved ones. 

According to Cal Lutheran’s list of religious and cultural observances, Día De Los Muertos is celebrated annually throughout Latin America from Nov. 1-2.  

“This was traditionally an Aztec holiday that has been brought forward to the current culture,” sophomore Olivia Gichanga said.

This year, the Center for Equality and Justice displayed social justice ofrendas representing the Japanese Internment Camps, Cuban refugees who died fleeing to the U.S., victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire from 1911, civilian deaths of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Holocaust, those who fought and died in the Vietnam war and the United Farm Workers.

Gichanga said ofrendas are to honor people or loved ones who have passed. She said by setting out pictures of them, playing songs to celebrate the life they have lived and including marigolds or their favorite foods, you are both appreciating and remembering them.

“I think it’s really cool, we’re a Hispanic Serving Institution and CEJ has taken the chance to bring social justice issues to more prominence,” Gichanga said.

Latin American Student Organization, which helps to celebrate Latin traditions on campus, also displayed an ofrenda in the Pearson Library. 

“It’s part of CLU’s mission in being a Hispanic-serving institution. It makes sense to recognize that other people and other cultures have different ways of honoring people,” Librarian for Reference and Outreach Erin Sommers said. 

Sommers said displaying an ofrenda contributes to Cal Lutheran’s overall mission to honor diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“I hope that more people will be able to participate and also take part in looking at the ofrendas because I think this culture and this tradition is so beautiful in the sense that we honor and remember people who have died,” Gichanga said. 

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