On Oct. 31, elementary students at Escuela Valdez, a dual-language elementary school in Northwest Denver, celebrated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The Mexican holiday focuses on remembering deceased family members and friends each year. This festive and social occasion was developed from ancient traditions of the Aztecs and welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the cycles of life and death.
“In order to teach language, you must include culture,” said Valdez Family and Community Liaison Selena Silva. “Many students get to learn about their own ancestors by collaborating in the creation of our school altar.”
Students in all grades at Valdez celebrated the holiday by decorating calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), altares de muertos (altars of the dead) and ofrendas (offerings). These offerings include favorite foods and beverages of the departed, as well as photos and memorabilia.
The celebration also included a schoolwide costume parade and bilingual Día de los Muertos performance.