Seventeen years ago, Eunice Loredo gave her first El Dia de Los Muertos presentation to a small group in the UMO Student Union, as a way to bring more cultural aspects to the UMaine campus. Over the years the Day of the Dead program has grown so much that yesterday, over 300 students from schools around Maine gathered in the Hudson Museum for an interactive experience introducing them to the rich culture behind one of Mexico’s most important holidays.
“I always bring my students so they can learn and participate,” said Señora Loredo. “When we don’t have money from Melmac, I apply for grants to cover the costs of bringing the students.” This is the 6th year MHS Spanish students have had the opportunity to attend the event. Just under seventy MHS students made the trip yesterday accompanied by Señora Loredo, Señora Gibson, Superintendent Gary Smith, and parent chaperones.
Participants made traditional El Dia de Los Muertos crafts including clay skulls, paper flowers, and papel picado (paper banners). They also had the opportunity to sample Pan de Muertos, the traditional bread made especially for the Day of the Dead, at the end of Senora Loredo’s presentation on the origin of the many aspects of the feast and rituals involved in celebrating El Dia de Los Muertos.
“It was really neat how we got to see a part of their culture by trying new foods and doing some arts and crafts,” said Messalonskee Freshman, Eve Lilly. “I was so so glad to be able to take part in the event!”
The students also benefited from an admission speech and tour of the campus bookending their cultural experience at UMO.