Oakley group celebrates Dia de los Muertos

Photo courtesy of You, Me, We=Oakley!

Attendees enjoyed activities such as sugar skull decorating, loteria (Mexican bingo), paper mache flowers, tin folk art and creating skull masks.

The Oakley organization You, Me, We=Oakley! recently hosted its ninth annual Dia de los Muertos event in Civic Center Plaza.

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a day to celebrate loved ones who have passed away. It is mainly celebrated in Mexico but also in some Central American countries. It is a multi-day celebration between Nov. 1 and 2, when it is believed that the spirits of the deceased are allowed to reunite with their families.

Various local businesses and residents came together to create their own ofrenda (altar), which were displayed throughout the event, to honor and remember their deceased family and friends.

Following the activities, Noxtin Nomecayotzin Education took the stage for a special indigineous presentation and altar blessing. Ballet Folklorico Asi Se Siente Mexico then performed a variety of dances from different states of Mexico. To wrap up the performances, Ballet Folklorico Jaraque performed traditional dances from Jalisco, Mexico.

The celebration ended with a viewing of Disney’s Coco, which serves as a good introduction to the meaning of the Dia de los Muertos holiday.

Local artist Magaly Arias Lobatos created a traditional Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, which included pictures of residents’ loved ones who have passed away. She also created a large photo backdrop mural for the event.

“Art comes from the heart and it’s not about the artist but how the artist makes the audience feel,” she said. “I was thrilled to contribute to Oakley’s celebration and be a part of this beautiful tradition.”

You, Me, We=Oakley!, seeks to promote civic engagement and create opportunities to bring together Oakley’s diverse residents to show appreciation for cultural differences while recognizing the shared values of wanting a safe and vibrant community to live.

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