ACC’s Ascender team hosted the Día de Los Muertos Goes Virtual event on Friday, October 30. It is a tradition to set up an altar at every ACC Campus where students, staff, and faculty can bring an image or item to pay homage to a loved one who passed away. Because they could not follow through with this tradition, they held a virtual event to keep the spirit of this extraordinary celebration alive for their current cohort.
The virtual event began with a brief introduction of what, when, and why we celebrate Día de Los Muertos. Alejandra Polcik, Manager of Hispanic Outreach Projects, enriched the audience with the historical background of this event and her personal experience of what the celebration consisted of for her family. Alejandra talked about how her daughter gave her a splendid half-face painting of a Catrina before the virtual event. A Catrina, a female skeleton, is a recognizable symbol of this celebration. Alejandra then opened up the conversation for the attendees to share their family traditions during these times.
Griselda Garnica, a current Ascender student, was one of the students who not only attended the event but won both face painting and altar contests. Griselda talked about what her altar meant to her family and how different this celebration was going to be due to social distancing. Although she misses getting together with other family members to celebrate, she is happy to share the tradition of making an altar with her family.
To conclude the virtual session, Megan Diaz, Outreach Specialist for Ascender, directed a couple of Loteria rounds. It was not an ordinary Loteria due to the Ascender team creating their own custom cards. Megan excitedly announced every card such as her favorite “La Selena!” and what she calls Alejandra’s favorite “La Frida!”
The ACC Ascender Team created an opportunity for current students and mentors of the program to paint their faces, demonstrate at home altars, and participate in a couple of rounds of an entertaining Loteria game with a twist. The ACC Ascender team has managed to continue to bring their students and mentors together virtually.