The Mexican American Student Association presents a Dia de los Muertos event 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30, 2019, in the Central Academic Building courtyard.
Mariachi Toritos will perform, along with matachines in ritual attire, a custom which emerged in Spain in the 1700s.
The event also will include face painting, coffee and pan dulce with a blessing for an ofrenda altar by a representative of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish colonial missions. MASA has displayed the altar in CAB on the first floor since Oct. 15.
The event is sponsored by Adrianna M. Santos, assistant professor of English, and the Mays Center; students have supplied materials for the altar. The community is also encouraged to participate and contribute. Personal items such as pictures of loved ones who have died, decorations, candle lights, candy and flowers are welcomed.
MASA President Crystal Martinez and Vice President Isabella Rodriguez explained the true meaning and importance of Dia de los Muertos at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
“Celebrating Dia de los Muertos on campus is important to our organization, because MASA represents 70% of the population at Texas A&M University-San Antonio,” Martinez said. “It is an emotional yet culturally rich event that should be presented on campus.”
Santos said Dia de los Muertos is an indigenous holiday that developed into a mixed hybrid of Mexican culture.
“I feel in light of recent events in El Paso some of our community is still reeling and grappling with the grief of the attack on a Latino community, and it is important for us to come together as a community and show our support,” Santos said. “It’s an opportunity for us to come together and condemn acts of violence.”
Rodriguez identified the Hispanic culture here at A&M-San Antonio as unique.
“The culture here at A&M San Antonio is very, in a word, ‘chicanismo,’” Rodriguez said. “It’s important that we bring attention to our culture, so why not do it to where it’s not limited to Latinos?”
Rodriguez described “chicanismo” as a form of cultural expression and awareness of the Mexican-American experience in the United States.
Local leaders of the community lend a helping hand in the process. Edgar Ivan G, a DJ on 104.5 FM, a Latino station; he and others spent meaningful time with MASA and contributing to the altar, Rodriguez said.
The celebration is free and open to the community.