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Día de Los Muertos celebration livens up student center

Filled with students and music, the Student Center came to life on Wednesday, Nov. 6, to celebrate Chemeketa’s Día de Los Muertos event. 

Linda Ringo-Reyna, the Multicultural Student Services Coordinator, has been holding this event for 14 years, 12 of which Mexican visual artist and musician Samuel Becerra has been a part of. 

“He hand makes the Calaveras, or the Catrinas. We usually do about one hundred of them. He constructs them all from hand, bakes them in a kiln and then brings them [so] the students can paint them,” she said. “He [also] talks about the importance of, ‘What does this mean?’ ‘Why do we do Día de Los Muertos?’”

For students Kaaija Wilcox and Julio Herrera, it’s about connecting to their culture. 

“I think the Day of the Dead is important to me because I didn’t grow up with, I guess, Mexican culture. My parents weren’t super traditionally Mexican, and so it gives me a way to connect to that more,” Wilcox said. 

“It’s basically a lot of my own origin because it’s history,” said Herrera. “We get to listen and we get to share with our community about how passionate we are, and we get to have [an] actual hands-on experience.”

“I coordinate this event because it honors the Latino culture and it helps educate the campus community about what Día de Los Muertos means,” said Ringo-Reyna. “It’s the celebration and honor of the dead, of our loved ones.” 

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