Paw Prints

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Dia de los muertos


Dia de los muertos is a hispanic holiday that’s celebrated November 1st and 2nd, the first day being for the children who’ve passed, and the second is for adults. The holiday is to commemorate a deceased individual by making an altar and bringing them offerings or ofrendas. The altars could have 2, 3 or even 7 levels, each designated to hold specific things. For example, in a 3 level altar, the top one, which represents the heavens, is used to put the deceased individual’s picture, as well as a mirror behind it so the individual can see their visitors through the afterlife. The second level, called the earth, is used to place things that the individual liked, for example favorite foods or even a hobby of sorts. The third level, called the purgatory, is used to decorate with items that have a symbol. A common decoration are flores de cempasuchil, yellow flowers found in Mexico that could be placed to shape a cross. Another common decoration are candles, which guide the deceased to their altars. Dia de los muertos is a way for Mexicans  to pay tribute and remember your loved ones.

Before the event took place at the school, we interviewed Sra. Gamboa Leanos, the Spanish teacher in charge of the event. To her, Día de los muertos is a very meaningful event because it greatly embodies her and her students’ culture. Her favorite part of the event is seeing her students learn about Dia de los muertos. To many, it’s just the Mexican Halloween, so the student’s curiosity about the holiday makes her content. She’s also delighted about how much fun her students, as well as the community, have. Seeing parents and their children participate in the event is wholesome. Sra. Gamboa has seen the holiday evolve throughout the years and has seen it branch out to other parts of the world. To think that 25 years ago, decorations for Dia de los muertos were scarce, as they were only found in Mexico is mind boggling. Nowadays, Dia de los muertos has integrated itself well into the media and is known worldwide.

Our team also interviewed students who are partaking in the Dia de los muertos event and asked them what the holiday means to them. Senior Karina Alvarado, who’s in AP Spanish Literature, said that Dia de los muertos is an opportunity to be grateful for the loss of loved ones. To her, the holiday is important because you get to celebrate your loved ones with family. Part of the AP class is making a big ofrenda to honor a group of people who died in a tragedy. Karina’s group chose to make the ofrenda on WWII soldiers, a reason being the upcoming holiday of Veteran’s Day. Junior Andrew Pavon, who’s also a part of the AP class, said that Dia de los muertos is a great opportunity to remember family members who have passed. Personally, he celebrates Dia de los muertos with his family by making a small ofrenda at home for a loved one, which includes their favorite food and drinks. Next, we interviewed Kimberly Bahena, who said that Dia de los muertos symbolizes the importance of being connected with your family. At home, Kimberly and her family celebrate Dia de los muertos by having a praying session next to the altar. Lastly, we interviewed Sophomore Dayana Mendez. Dayana says it is important to remember and to learn about your loved ones who passed away. To celebrate, her grandparents like to decorate ofrendas at home, and add arroz con leche, a dessert pudding made with rice and milk, as well as including other delicacies.

As for the event, it was a pleasant experience. Despite it also being Food Fest, a lot of people turned up to look at the ofrendas made by the students, as well as teachers and staff members. The students had fun presenting their ofrendas and teaching the newcomers about their culture.

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AP Spanish students altars



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About the Contributors
Miguel Viveros is a senior looking forward to his first year of journalism. He is a writer who’s looking to improve his writing skills, as well as to learn how to properly interview and what questions to ask.
In his free time, Miguel enjoys listening to music and playing video games with friends. However, his favorite thing to do is taking after-school naps.
Junior Alexa Cabrera is excited for her second year of Journalism. Alexa is looking forward to promoting Journalism all over social media. When Alexa is not coming up with new ideas she enjoys spending time with family, watching Netflix, and going out to new places.
Senior Abel Peralta is excited to start his first year of journalism as a photographer. Abel will be taking pictures for journalism during events and film interviews.   When Abel is outside of school he enjoys boxing and going to his boxing gym to train. Abel also enjoys listening to music and relaxing at home.
Freshman Michelle Abarca is excited to join her first year in journalism. She decided to join journalism to try something new, her goal is to promote Paw Prints and spread media.
When Michelle isn't focused on school, she likes to hangout with her friends, bake, and be outside.

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