PHOTOS: Upper School Spanish Classes Celebrate and Participate in Día de los Muertos

One wall in Upper School Spanish teacher Patricia Mejia’s class was transformed into a beautiful altar—an ofrenda—with photos of loved ones, candles, marigold flowers, calavera skulls and more. Not far away, Ms. Mejia’s Spanish 2 students were hard at work on their own contribution to the classroom’s celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the cherished Mexican holiday honoring and celebrating loved ones who have died.
Using templates, X-Acto knives and colored tissue paper, the Spanish 2 students worked on “papel picado,” a traditional Mexican visual art form of intricately cut colorful paper flags closely associated with holidays like Día de los Muertos. The students learned the significance of papel picado in Mexican culture, and picked from simple and advanced templates to make their own.
Once they were completed, they were displayed in Ms. Mejia’s classroom, some around the ofrenda. Ms. Mejia’s altar was filled partly by another one of her classes, as Spanish 4 students were encouraged to bring in a framed photo of a loved one to be placed at the ofrenda. Those students also wrote a composition about their loved one which was read aloud this week as part of the celebration.
Elsewhere, students in post-AP Spanish advanced study: culture and conversation, taught by Bryan Sullivan, made miniature altars out of shoeboxes, dedicated to a loved one in their life. The students accompanied their ofrenda with a poem or a written letter to their loved one, which they read in Spanish to their classmates.
Upper School Spanish classes at St. Margaret’s have long celebrated Día de los Muertos and learned more about the holiday’s significance in Latin American culture, ranging from activities like these to educational outreach to younger Tartans about the holiday and its traditions.
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