Dancers and musicians perform at Righetti High School
A large crowd of Righetti High School students watched Wednesday as dancers and musicians celebrated Dia de los Muertos.
Performers at the Day of the Dead program at the Santa Maria school’s outdoor Greek Theater included Ballet Folklorico and Marimba Band.
In addition, students and staff got into the spirit by dressing up and creating face paintings of colorful skulls, flowers and other Day of the Dead motifs.
The event was organized by Latino Unidos.
“With the rally, I hope to share one of our many beautiful traditions that is celebrated within all of Latin America,” Crystal Campos, the Latino Unidos treasurer and a Righetti senior, said before the rally. “Not only is this event important because of its meaning, but by doing this we are able to include students that wouldn’t normally celebrate it and help others stay in touch with their roots.
“Overall, I think embracing our culture is very important at the end of the day since it’s what helps us be who we are!” she said in a statement.
Carlos Gonzalez, the vice president of Latino Unidos, said he considers Dia de los Muertos to be a very personal event.
“I am connecting with my culture, while educating other students on ways they can connect with theirs by hosting traditional games, dances, etc.,” he said.
Samantha Perez, who coordinates public relations for Latinos Unidos, said she sees the Dia de los Muertos rally as a great way to bring Righetti High School together.
“We have as much fun planning it as we do executing it,” Samantha said.
The holiday means a lot to Susana Espinoza, the Latinos Unidos president.
“Día de los Muertos is a Latin American holiday that honors deceased loved ones but also celebrates the beauty of life,” Susana, a senior, said. “I hope that students can leave the rally knowing a little more about our culture and be proud of who they are and where they each come from.’’
The event also included an altar decorating contest.
“I feel proud and happy to share these traditions with our school community,” said Patricia Villalobos, Latinos Unidos Club adviser and a Spanish teacher at Righetti High School.
“I hope these events serve to remember and honor those who are no longer here but will forever live in our hearts.”