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Sólo en Santa Cruz

Tue, Oct 06, 2020

Helen Aldana

Helen Aldana - Coordinadora de Programas Interculturales

Día de Muertos 2020: A Month-Long Celebration

For the past 5 years, our team here at the MAH has had the opportunity to experience, grow, and share Día de Muertos with more and more of Santa Cruz County. This growth is thanks to our community partner Senderos, a local organization that centers on supporting youth to excel in education and honor their cultural identity. Fe Silva Robles and Nereida Robles Vasquez from Senderos are the heart and spirit of this celebration at the MAH. Being Indigenous Zapotec women born and raised in Oaxaca, they have unique knowledge and wisdom that they have generously shared with us.

In 2019, after long and thoughtful talks, the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation granted us our first (partial) closure of Evergreen Street in front of the historical landmark Evergreen Cemetery. If you were there last year, you’d remember the procession, guided by Hermanas Unidas, of hundreds of community members walking from Cooper Street to Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park onto Evergreen Cemetery. With the permitted street closure, we were able to keep this procession of predominantly Indigenous and Latinx people safe from moving cars and comfortable knowing the people of the city were there for us.

As always there were altars, dancers, musicos, mojigangas, face painting, tissue paper flowers, catrinas y catrins, and much more. Everything was vibrant, colorful, and beautiful. Together we collectively mourned and celebrated life and death.

This year, things are different.

We continue to learn from our partners at Senderos and together we have found ways to bring. the many offerings present at the annual Dia de Muertos festival and the knowledge from our Senderos teachers to you in new reimaged ways.

First things first, we encourage you to be and stay safe. We are still living during a pandemic and needing to follow shelter-in-place orders. When outside, please stay at least 6-feet distance and wear a mask (my mask protects you and your mask protects me).

This year, we invite you to join us in a month-long series of virtual programs and self-guided outdoor experiences to learn more about the history and traditions of Día de Muertos. Outdoor experiences will be monitored by MAH staff and will be worked within the limited capacity determined for each outdoor site. Signage and markers will show designated paths and distance for a safe experience. Please do your part to keep these events safe by abiding by these guidelines and listening to MAH staffers. If you have any questions about the programing or precautions being taken please email us at info@santacruzmah.org.

Día de Muertos dates back 3,000 years and 2020 will be another year this Indigenous celebration lives on. Below are opportunities for you to learn more and celebrate safely.

Upcoming Events

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Beginning October 21st

Chalk Art Circles in Abbott Square

Take a walk through Abbott Square for live chalk drawings by local Latinx artists. Stay tuned for artist spotlights.

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October 22nd

Online Tutorial: Calavera Face Paint with Evelyn Salguero

Calavera (skull) is a familiar symbol of Dia de Muertos celebration that represents the departed soul folks honor on their altar. Learn from local artist Evelyn Salguero in a video tutorial how to paint your (or someone else’s) face with the vibrant calavera.

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October 29th

Video: Senderos’ Centeotl Danza y Baile dance performance

Join us for a virtual performance by Centeotl Danza y Baile filmed at Evergreen Cemetery. Learn about the dance and its significance in an interview with Maestras Jenny Robles, Magdalena Vega, and Chanel Robles.

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October 29th

Educational Lesson Plan: Día de los Muertos

Designed for teachers and educators for grades K-12 get access the free Día de los Muertos lesson plan by filling out the form here. Learn about Día de los Muertos through engaging activities, craft tutorials, and discussion questions. This lesson is available in English y Español.

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November 1st, 12-3:30pm

Pop-Up: Community Altars & Ribbon Installation at Evergreen Cemetery

Stroll through Evergreen Cemetery in a self-guided walking tour of community built altars and viewing of a community-sourced ribbon installation Recordando Recuerdos.

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November 2nd

Youtube Video: A Brief History of Día de Muertos with MAH Staff Member Oscar Paz

Enjoy a prerecorded video of the MAH’s Education Coordinator, Oscar Paz, at Evergreen Cemetery for a quick history of Día de Muertos and some traditions surrounding the holiday. A great video for educators and anyone interested in learning more about Dia de Muertos while staying safe at home.

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November 2nd-7th

On-view: Community Ofrenda at the MAH

Take a moment to pause with a community altar (ofrenda). The ofrenda welcomes your stories of loved ones who have passed. Altars are built to honor the dead, welcome them to the living world, and celebrate with the offerings placed on the altar.

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November 5th

Video: Ensamble Musical de Senderos musical performance

Tune in to the MAH webpage for a viewing of an Ensamble Musical de Senderos (virtual) musical performance filmed at Evergreen Cemetery.

Ongoing Opportunities

Recordando Recuerdos is honoring life, death, and loss. We acknowledge 2020 has magnified and visiblelized the crisis experienced in our community. We have been continually reminding the power of collective mourning and care.

Share your story on a collaborative piece made of vibrant colours with names of loved ones, objects, and moments lost that you wish to honour and remember. Form coming soon to make a submission.

This piece will be assembled by MAH staff in the month of October. Recordando Recuerdos will be shared at Evergreen Cemetery on Sunday, 1 November 2020 12am - 3:30pm.

The final piece will be a part of In These Uncertain Times exhibition on-view Winter/Spring 2021.

For more information please contact Helen Aldana at helen@santacruzmah.org or leave a voice message at 831.429.1964 ext. 7032 for a call back