With vibrant decorations filling the quad, students, parents, staff and community members swarmed the school to participate in Foothill’s first-ever Día De Los Muertos celebration. Held on the evening of Nov. 7, 2019, the event, which was run by the Be Heard club, was an opportunity for the Foothill community to come together and celebrate loved ones that have passed.
The event provided an altar for guests to add pictures and offerings, commemorating deceased loved ones. There were also performances from Jessica Lopez ‘20 and the Foothill Dance Team. The quad was filled with various booths advertising nachos, chocolate atole, arroz con leche and horchata. Guests were also given the option to watch “Coco,” a movie centered around Día De Los Muertos.
Esmeralda Saucedo ‘20, co-president of the Be Heard club, stated that Día De Los Muertos is a “day where we commemorate the memory of our loved ones that have passed on and to honor their memories with altars and ofrendas.” Ofrendas or offerings can include flowers, favorite foods and pictures of loved ones.
During the celebration, Lopez performed a baile Folklorico, a traditional dance from Latinoamerica. In the years she has been dancing it has allowed her to “become more aware” of her roots. According to Lopez she feels “connected with [her ancestors]” when she dances.
Many students enjoyed the event and appreciated the work behind the decorations and execution. Sailor Steimle ‘22 enjoyed the event saying that it was “super cool” and she loved the decorations. She appreciated the purpose of the event, saying that it “really showcases this beautiful culture.”
In order to plan this celebration, there was a lot of preparation and effort needed. Co-president of the Be Heard club, Samantha Toledo ‘20, explained that they “had to figure out how to do the [finances], to reserve the quad, the setups and all the little things” in order to make the event possible.
Adviser for the Be Heard Club Cherie Eulau said that she was “impressed with how organized the [club was].”
Not only was the event an opportunity to remember loved ones, but also to celebrate diversity and the culture of Día De Los Muertos. According to Eulau, “kids on this campus need identity affirming experiences and sometimes they need to be overt.”
Eulau wants parents and students alike to “feel apart of this community.” During the Día De Los Muertos, Eulau shared that she had met parents she had never seen before and this made the event worthwhile.
Toledo stated that “there are a lot of students on campus who feel like they are not celebrated, that their voice isn’t heard.” Through events like this, the Be Heard club hopes to let these students know that they “see you and [are] going to celebrate you.”