Club sets up ofrenda to spread knowledge, celebrate the Day of the Dead


Elliott Taylor

Latinos Unidos has set up an ofrenda in celebration of the Day of the Dead in the Gordon Parks Art Hall.

Joaquin Figueroa, Reporter

Filled with photos, skulls, beverages, flowers and all types of bright-colored designs, Latinos Unidos has set up an ofrenda in celebration of the Day of the Dead in the Gordon Parks Art Hall lobby to spread knowledge about the holiday among the Lab community. Club members set up the ofrenda together on Oct. 26, and it will stay up through Nov. 5.

Sari Hernandez, club adviser, feels it is important to embrace Lab’s varied cultures by celebrating the Day of the Dead with an ofrenda in a location many people visit. 

“The fact that when I first started here, in the high school, I never saw any examples of my culture. It was weird for me,” Ms. Hernandez, who is Latina, said. “So, creating a space where we are honoring a tradition from a marginalized community, especially Latinos, given that we’re in Chicago and we’re a significant population here. I think that’s also how we help students feel welcome and not like your culture and your identity stays at home.”

Tyler Nava, a co-president of the club, thought that it was important to continue this tradition and spread knowledge about the holiday.

“There aren’t a lot of holidays that are as widely known in American culture as Day of the Dead,” Tyler said, “so I think it’s important that people here know, who aren’t familiar with it, that it’s not another Halloween, that it’s an important holiday with some religious context and it’s about honoring the dead.” 

To participate in the celebration, Latinos Unidos invited people in the community to submit photos of loved ones who have died.

“And that’s the other thing that I appreciate,” Ms. Hernandez said. “It’s not just the Latinx community members that are participating, so diversity also in who’s leaning into this tradition.”

She said she enjoys seeing people participating.

of“My favorite part is the conversations we have when they bring me their pictures,” Ms. Hernandez said. “The glimpses I get into people’s lives and where they come from.”