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This year local Day of the Dead events will have an international reach, here's how you can join, too

This is the first event in a week of festivities, during which people from across the country and globe will come together to celebrate Mexican heritage, Aranda said, adding organizers are expecting over 300 attendees.
Catrina contestants during a past El Centro Amistad Day of the Dead event at the Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery. (Photo courtesy of El Centro Amistad)

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At 6 p.m. Tuesday, El Centro Amistad will be launching its 2020 Day of the Dead virtual celebration with a Catrina makeup tutorial. During the Zoom event, participants will learn how to create facial works of art representing Mexican tradition, said Elerna Aranda, director of wellness, health and education at El Centro Amistad.

This is the first event in a week of festivities, during which people from across the country and globe will come together to celebrate Mexican heritage, she said, adding organizers are expecting over 300 attendees.

“The Day of the Dead is a very important tradition for us, it is a way to honor the people who are not here with us anymore, it’s a way to be with them. … We are keeping a culture alive that shouldn’t die only because we no longer live in our country,” Aranda said. “It is a tradition that brings those of us who are still alive together and it also connects us to those who are no longer with us.”

El Centro Amistad, an organization working to promote health equity, education, and quality of life for the Latino community in Boulder County, has been tasked with bringing the Day of the Death to life in Boulder since the early years of the organization, Aranda said. This year the events have gone online allowing many others to join in on the tradition.

“Everyone is invited, especially now that we are doing this online. During this week we will have one activity every day starting today, and they all are related to the Day of the Dead,” she said.

According to Mar Matlak, Artesana coordinator at El Centro Amistad and festivities organizer, COVID has created an opportunity to celebrate the holiday like no other year, bringing the heart of Mexican culture to the screens of participants near and far.

“Something that I like about this opportunity that has emerged through COVID is that we are doing the event for a whole week, one event per day. We are taking advantage of this opportunity to connect with people who are far away. Half of our program will be done from Mexico,” she said.

Throughout the week, El Centro Amistad will be featuring virtual presentations conveying elements of the celebration in multiple locations including live streamed music from the state of Veracruz, México, and a live presentation from Xochimilco, a “lake-spirited town located (in) southern Mexico City.”

Other events during the week will include information on the Nahuatl altar ritual and a flower making workshop using tissue paper and corn husks, Matlak said.

“I like that people can share their altars, all the way from home. We organized something simple, with materials that people can easily find, like making flowers out of paper,” she said.

The main and last event will take place on Sunday, during which interested attendees can showcase their Catrina makeup and altars, and get a chance to win $50.

El Centro Amistad Day of the Dead events will be streamed via the same Zoom link, meeting ID: 378 512 1584, at 6 p.m. every night this week. To register to participate in the Catrinas and altars contests, email or send a message via Facebook.

Silvia Romero Solís

About the Author: Silvia Romero Solís

Después de viajar por el mundo, Silvia llegó a establecerse en Longmont. Ella busca usar su experiencia en comunicaciones y cultura para crear más equidad y diversidad en las noticias de Longmont.
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