Altar making!

Before the symposium begins we are all preparing!

Me (Jade) and the team, Gabrielle Sanchez, Elijah Rainey-Gibson, Nora Medina, Elda Theodros, got to work setting up our boxes, securing the table cloth, and making paper cutouts. The theme of our ofrenda is the social death as a result of the criminality of immigration at the border. We made tiny yellow hearts on the friend that with the names done of the victims of this social death. To our right, as we set up, we can see the guest singer Black Mama, warming up her vocals and testing the sound system as the rest of the team sets up the zoom panel meeting technology. Each group member brought a price of the ofrenda, each component symbolizing a different element. Bowls of water to represent water. Paper cuttings on a string to represent air, candles to represent fire, and flowers to represent the earth. We all bring a price to pull together the final Ofrenda!

Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program Presents Their Community Ofrenda

Photo of the Plaza Roberto Maestas ofrenda taken by John Petrovich (Group 8) at El Centro de La Raza in Seattle, Washington for Dio de Los Muertos.

Coming into El Centro it was apparent the excitement of the middle schoolers who were standing in front of their ofrenda, taking pictures and saying “frijoles.” Everyone here here can feel the energy in the air. We are remembering those who left this earth temporarily and celebrating their momentary return.

The after school program commissioned this ofrenda to celebrate the indigenous history that is inextricably tied to this deeply rooted cultural tradition of Day of the Dead. Among the colorful fabrics and flowers you will find Loteria cards, the significance of which demonstrate that even in the hardest times, you can always find happiness and balance through traditions that bring you back to your culture. After all, “La Cultura Cura.”