Cultural display of ofrendas at West Texas A&M celebrates life and diversity

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Celebrating and remembering the memory of those that have passed before us, is what a display at West Texas A&M is aiming to do for those that come to view it.

“This is the largest holiday in Mexico. It tops Christmas and every other holidays sometimes combined,” said Dr. Beth Garcia, West Texas A&M Director of Teacher Preparation.

What Dr. Garcia is referring to is “Dia De Los Muertos.”

“It’s on November 1st and 2nd and this is the day that we believe people come back across to the living and get to visit family and friends for one night. It’s really not them coming across but it’s their memory, their spirit where we just get to sit around and tell their stories and honor their life. You put the person’s picture on there, maybe a short description of their life story. Their favorite things, favorite food, favorite drinks, lots of flowers,” said Dr. Garcia.

A big piece of that is the ofrenda, which is an alter that honors someone of something that has passed.

As part of celebrating life and culture at WT, over 100 participants set up ofrendas including first-year WT student Mayra Cisneros.

“This is my first time actually doing an ofrenda and it’s really neat. It’s a really neat experience and being able to see everybody’s creativity. It’s so nice,” said Cisneros.

“Our dean always tells us that there are three deaths in the Hispanic culture, the day your heart stops beating is number one. The day they put you in the ground is number two and the saddest death of all is the day that nobody remembers your name. So we’re really trying to fight against that third death by setting up ofrendas to remember our loved ones and different groups that have gone on before us,” said Dr. Garcia.

The display will be open for tours starting October 19 and will run through October 22.

It will be located on the first floor of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum on the WT campus.

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