Dia de los Muertos festival celebrates culture

By Megan G. Razzetti

East Los Angeles College’s 4th annual Dia de los Muertos festival was filled with food, music and culture with the help of numerous vendors and clubs.

The community gathered to celebrate the lives of dead loved ones in honor of Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 4 in the courtyard between S1 and S2.

Sponsored by ELAC’s Associated Student Union (ASU) and the Chicano Studies Department, the event provided a cultural experience for students and the surrounding community.

Clubs such as the Nontraditional Student Union sold pupusas during the event to raise funds for scholarships and upcoming events in the spring semester.

According to club member Josh Ibarra, the festival was a great way to show respect and honor the memory of ancestors who are gone, but not forgotten.

The club focuses on helping students who are not students that have just graduated high school. “Non-traditional students, for example, are over the age of 25, in night school or are foster youth,” said Ibarra.

The Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan or MeCHA also had a booth set up selling tamales.

“I hold Dia de los Muertos very close, it acknowledges our ancestors for helping us become who we are today,” MeCHA club member Perla Madera said.

Madera said MeCHA was there to raise awareness of the club’s return to ELAC and to raise money to support future club events.

The group aims to build a strong school community by emphasizing the importance of accepting all walks of life.

Along with clubs selling food, there was a selection of performers that provided entertainment for the festival.

Conjunto Los Pochos were on the line up with their final performance as a band along with Mariachi Estrella de Jalisco, Domingo Siete and Viento Gallejero.

Dance group Circulo Ajolote also performed traditional dance routines.

As done in the past festivals, the Wish Upon an Angel foundation was there for a toy drive. Festival goers were asked to bring an unwrapped new toy to donate to terminally ill children.

The non-profit organization was founded by Chicano Studies Professor Angelita Rovero-Herrera. Rovero-Herrera started the foundation in honor of 5-year old Mario Molina, who died of leukemia, and 15-year old Kyle Rodas, who died from brain cancer.

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