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ComArtSci at Michigan State University built their own ofrenda, inviting the campus community to contribute photos and mementos of loved ones to be displayed from October 26 to November 3 in the building's South Lobby.
WKAR Audio Ofrendas

On Día de los Muertos, many take the opportunity to remember and honor their loved ones who have passed away. In the Latinx community, this is traditionally done by setting up an altar known as an "ofrenda." WKAR interviewed several members of our community to learn about their unique ofrendas and the ways in which they pay tribute to and celebrate this holiday.

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  • Diana Cisneros is a member of a global indigenous student organization at Michigan State University. In her ofrenda, she pays tribute to her indigenous heritage by reading a Maya K’iche’ prayer, spoken in Guatemala, to honor her ancestors. For Diana, reading this prayer, not only honors the people who have passed away, but it also symbolizes the power and importance of language as a form of resistance for indigenous communities.
  • Tomas from Waterbury, Connecticut, shares his journey of creating an ofrenda in honor of his Puerto Rican family. Initially hesitant, his experience changed when his grandfather, who he was closest to, passed away, prompting him to create an ofrenda as a way to remember and celebrate his grandfather's memory.
  • Melina from Colima, Mexico, discusses her colorful ofrenda dedicated to deceased family members. She emphasizes the importance of food in attracting and honoring their spirits, sharing how Día de los Muertos is her favorite way of bringing loved ones back into their lives.
  • Erika, an academic advisor at Michigan State University, shares her experience with Día de los Muertos as a Mexican-American. While her immediate family didn't create altars, Erika reflects on the tradition of visiting graveyards and bringing flowers, emphasizing the importance of creating altars to remember and honor loved ones who have passed.
  • Tiffany, from the College of Veterinary Medicine and president of the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association at MSU, describes their ofrenda to honor pets, featuring photos, candles, flowers, treats, toys, and animal-shaped candy skulls. This provides a positive outlet for remembering their beloved animals while they navigate the daily challenges of veterinary medicine.
  • Amanda and Salo dedicated their ofrenda to the iconic Selena Quintanilla-Perez, celebrating her influence on fashion, music, and her love for deep purple hues.
  • Amanda and Salo built their ofrenda to honor the late Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, and her enduring impact across borders of culture, identity, and more.
  • The MSU Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion crafted an ofrenda to honor civil rights activists who have influenced their efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion.