By Kristen McCarthy
Campus Life Editor
College of the Desert held Day of the Dead festivities on Nov 1 and 2 at both the Palm Desert and Indio campuses, with music provided courtesy of KCOD radio station. The Office of Student Life & Spanish Department teamed up to honor Dia de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
The Nov. 1 celebration was booming at the Palm Desert campus. This cross-cultural event included guest performances from the Mariachi Band Orgullo Azteca, Danzantes del Sol and Sabor a Mi Tierra. This was followed by a screening of “The Book of Life” at the COD Amphitheater.
On Thursday Nov. 2, the Indio campus celebrated Day of the Dead with performances by the COD Ballet Folkloric Club Sabor a mi Tierra and Giselle Woo, a singer and COD student, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in rooms 101 and 102.
Students of Professor Pilar Agudelo’s and Professor Artel Garcia’s Spanish classes worked in groups to create altars dedicated to individuals who passed away. Students chose family members, celebrities and public figures.
The audience was able to vote on the top three best altars based on creativity, appropriate items representing the person they chose and participants knowledge of their altars. The altars were decorated with bright colors, flowers, candies, favorite foods, candles, photographs and artworks. Some students even dressed up as the people they were honoring.
“It felt nice, made me feel connected to my culture and it also felt beautiful to honor the loved ones we’ve lost.” says Iman Yazmin Hernandez, a journalism student at COD. Hernandez participated in making an altar for the Indio Day of the Dead campus event.
The culinary program students baked cookies decorated as sugar skulls under the supervision of Chef Jeffrey Azer. Cookies, Pan de Muertos and drinks were free to all who attended the events.
Day of the Dead is a ritual that has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years. The purpose of this holiday is to remember friends and family who have passed away and support their spiritual journey. People celebrate this holiday by visiting grave sites, decorating the grave of their loved ones and creating altars. The College of the Desert events held to honor Day of the Dead were a success thanks to all of the students and faculty who participated.
One of the winning altar groups and Professor Artel Garcia
Photo courtesy of the Chaparral