Tradiciones on display


Noah Nafarrete

Noor Alramadan and Enrique Torres display a decorative piece from Spanish language teacher Maria De La Cruz’s classroom. These pieces are put on display in preparation of Dia de los Muertos.


Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates both life and death. The holiday, starting on Oct. 31 and ending on Nov. 2, is a celebration that demonstrates love and respect for deceased family members. This year at Bonita Vista High (BVH), Spanish language teachers Lilia Meza and Maria De La Cruz will be decorating the outside of their classrooms in celebration of the holiday in an effort to expose the BVH community to the commonly overlooked holiday.

“Día de los Muertos is a very interesting holiday for students to learn about, since it addresses multiculturalism and helps students develop a sense of diversity and respect for other cultures,” Meza said. “This Mexican holiday is particularly important for students to learn about since there is a common misconception that this celebration is the Mexican version of Halloween.”

This will be the first year that decorations will be outside the classrooms for the entire BVH community to see. The decorations will not only be provided by De    La Cruz and Meza, but by students as well.

“I thought, instead of just keeping it in the classroom, where only my students and several visitors would enjoy it, why don’t we set it up outside? So we’re making big altars and students are doing artwork and we’re going to put it outside because we want everybody else to enjoy it,” De La Cruz said.

Both teachers see the decorations as not just a way to celebrate the holiday, but for students to be exposed to another culture’s traditions that they are not very familiar with.

“Students will benefit by exploring other cultures in stimulating and insightful ways. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of ideas that surround them, in addition to expanding their points of view and becoming more open-minded and observant individuals,” Meza said. 

Besides the benefit of providing an artistic and colorful way of promoting cultural diversity, the holiday does carry great significance for those who observe and participate in the occasion. Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A) club member and senior Naomi Castillo sees the holiday as a way to remember those who came before her.

“Día de Los Muertos means honor, pride, and acknowledging the fact that there were people before me who influenced my family and also will influence  future generations,” Castillo said. “I get to reconnect with my lost loved ones.”

The decorations are a way for the BVH community to be exposed to the holiday and to experience the meaning of the tradition, remembering those before us who have passed away.

“I don’t think it matters whether you’re Latino or not. I think that everybody should celebrate those who have come before them,” De La Cruz said.