Cal Poly Pomona will hold its 25th annual Dia de los Muertos | The Day of the Dead Celebration on the Bronco Commons on Nov. 1, from 4 to 8 p.m. The Mexican holiday traditionally involves remembering those who have died and providing offerings to help them on their journeys.
At the university’s César E. Chávez Center for Higher Education, preparations have been underway for weeks with the community making more than 600 sugar skulls and more than 450 paper marigolds to decorate the more than 30 altars being set up by student organizations.
The altars will honor ancestors and others, including victims of violence; fallen leaders; Mexican singer, songwriter and actor Juan Gabriel; children of St. Jude’s hospital; transwomen who have died from violence; cultural resistance in Asian Pacific Islander communities; social activists; Aztlán and “lost souls at the border.”
The event will begin with a procession of Aztec dancers at 4 p.m. and opening remarks. The entertainment includes Mariachi Los Broncos (5-5:20 p.m.), dancers, a spoken word artists and salsa club lessons. The event closes with a performance by the Afro-Latin band El Santo Golpe, (7-8 p.m.).
“My favorite part is setting up the altar,” said Hector Avila, a senior majoring in international business and marketing. “At home it was a big event. My Mom would be cooking food. We’d be putting up decorations and looking through photo albums. It was just really special for us as a family to get to do that together. Here at the Center, it was very similar, but it was a community family.”
For Sarah Alpuche, a junior majoring in geology, “Getting to be exposed to what Dia de los Muertos is and really learning about all of the details behinds it…helped me feel connected with my identity, and here on campus it gave me a sense of belonging.
Guests will be able to interact with various campus clubs and organizations, enjoy delicious food, engage in activities and games, learn about Latina/o/x culture, and connect with the campus and the community.