Students learn Dia de los Muertos traditions during remote celebration

Gabriella Cummings
Staff Writer

The Latino Student Forum held its annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration for students over Zoom with 23 participants last week. 

Dia de los Muertos, which means Day of the Dead, is a holiday that originated in Mexico for which families honor their loved ones who have died. On the Nov. 2 holiday, the veil between the afterlife and the real world is down, and you can be connected with those loved ones. 

People put up altars with their pictures and other symbols of the holiday.

Students who reserved their space in advance of the Oct. 30 event received a giveaway box of items that represented the cultural celebration of Dia de los Muertos. 

The box included a frame, papel picado, a sugar skull, candy, and a candle – so they could make their own altars for loved ones who died.

The presentation taught participants about each item in the box. And participants shared how they honor the holiday.

LSF Marketing Director Amanda Ontiveros, junior psychology major who worked on putting the event together, said such an in-person event was important to connect students and the community. 

“Families welcome back the souls of their deceased loved ones with food, drinks, and celebration,” Ontiveros said. “Dia de los Muertos is more of a joyful and happy holiday filled with bright colors.”

LSF President Jessica Carillo, junior criminology major, also worked on the event. 

“With the cultural and racial environment that we’re living in right now because of the current president and the racial tension that he’s caused …  it’s important to emphasize how beautiful the Latinx culture really is, and just try to turn something negative into a positive and get people together,” Carillo said.

After the discussion, participants watched “Coco,” the 2017 Academy Award-winning animated movie about Dia De Los Muertos.

Carina Baca, a junior psychology and political science major, said it is so important for students to keep in touch with their traditions, and allow Latinx students to learn about this particular celebration. 

Having events like these online still holds tremendous value as it allows students to still have that connection with others and celebrate the good throughout all this turmoil,” she said.

For more information on the Latino Student Forum, visit

Gabriella Cummings can be reached at

Gabriella Cummings
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