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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST celebrates Día de los Muertos in display

Kobe Arriaga
A student decorates the Día de los Muertos display, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, at the Education Building.

Walking into the third floor of the Education Building, papel picado could be seen lining the walls as marigolds, calaveras and dozens of photos of loved ones are spread across a table with hues of green, red, yellow and orange to honor the Day of the Dead, mainly known as Día de los Muertos.

Día de los Muertos has been celebrated for over 3,000 years, allowing families to remember their deceased loved ones through ofrendas, an altar that has photos, foods, flowers, candles and more. This tradition has lived on, ending up in various locations from Central America to the Education Building at Texas State.

The start of the Día de los Muertos display in the Education Building began in 2018 with the display filled with photos of deceased bilingual teachers and researchers. Now, the display in the Education Building is used for anyone in the Texas State community to place photos of loved ones, remember them in a healthy manner and delve into a potentially unknown tradition.

“It’s a sweet time to remember and walk alongside with other people that have lost their loved ones,” Mitchell Ingram, assistant professor for the College of Education, said. “Some of my students say ‘We have an ofrenda at home’, while some say they don’t, so it’s really easy for things to die out. But I think that this is a neat tradition that needs to be kept alive.”

Although Ingram didn’t start the Día de los Muertos display in 2018, he played as a key contributor this year by directing the setup of the display and bringing his students in his Bilingual Education course with him to help set up.

A majority of Ingram’s students in this course have a goal to become bilingual educators like Priscilla Cerrato, a bilingual education senior. Cerrato contributed to setting up the Dia de los Muertos display on Oct. 24. She chose to help set up the display this year to prepare herself for her future career.

“I want to be a bilingual teacher in a low-income community,” Cerrato said. “Those areas are mostly Hispanic, so I feel like a lot of them will relate to this since it’s a cultural tradition. It’ll allow me to teach them more about it and it also exposes them since not a lot of students are exposed to it.”

Yazmine Carrizales, an early childhood education senior, believes that showing the Texas State community a new tradition is beneficial. While students can learn more about a tradition, they can also look past certain holidays that tend to dominate the month of October.

“Most people think about Halloween at this time,” Carrizales said. “Not everybody does Halloween With the help of [the display] you get to have knowledge of everything and everyone around you, especially in college.”

Whether the purpose is to expand knowledge or to prepare future bilingual educators, Ingram and his students believe Día de los Muertos has forever held the same meaning: to reflect and remember.

“Grandparents are getting older, siblings aren’t little babies,” Carrizales said. “Life could really be taken away at any moment, so it’s just appreciating the days we have. Right now, we’re putting up pictures of those we’ve lost, but we’re all here, talking about it and appreciating.”

The Día de los Muertos display will be up until Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Education Building.

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