Día de los Muertos Celebration at TAMIU Oct. 31
Posted: 10/24/13

Día de los Muertos Celebration at TAMIU Oct. 31
Targets Awareness about Mexican Holiday

Jerry Rodríguez, a junior biology major at Texas A&M International University, (TAMIU) and his fellow fraternity brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. – TAMIU Colony, want the community to understand the cultural significance of the Mexican Día de los Muertos tradition or Day of the Dead.

The fraternity will present its 2nd Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration Thursday, Oct. 31 from 12 - 2 p.m. at the Student Center Rotunda as part of its cultural awareness activities.

The event, free and open to the community, will feature a decorated altar for the dead, cupcakes and pan de muerto, a sweet bread traditionally baked in México during the weeks leading up to Día de los Muertos. Also, a black banner will be displayed for participants to write names of deceased loved ones. Fraternity members will explain the meaning of this holiday in México.

“We organized this event last year and it was a success as we received positive feedback from people,” said Rodríguez, vice president of Sigma Lambda Beta. “Día de los Muertos is a very festive holiday in the Mexican culture, but it’s not very well understood. We want people to understand why we celebrate it and Mexican Americans to know about the roots of the celebration,” Rodríguez explained.

The altar will be decorated with flowers, smiling skulls and food, he noted.

“We put food around the altar so that the souls of our loved ones who have passed away can come back, eat and celebrate with us before they go back to the other side,” Rodríguez said, “The skulls are always smiling because they are celebrating.”

Día de los Muertos is not a glorification of death,  Rodríguez explained.

“The real meaning behind it is that we are celebrating the lives and memories of our lost loved ones,” he said, “Because different people have died at different times, we like to designate one day where we get to have food and celebrate with their souls. We do it in one giant celebration as a community and culture.”

Donations will be accepted at the presentation and will benefit Casa de Misericordia, a local shelter for domestic violence victims.

TAMIU’s Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. is a historically Latino-based social fraternity founded in 1986 at the University of Iowa based on the principles of cultural awareness, brotherhood, scholarship and community service. Its mission is to nurture and further a dynamic values-based environment, which utilizes its historically-Latino-based fraternity as a catalyst to better serve the needs and wants of all people.

For more information, please contact Rodríguez at 972.977.3511, e-mail jerry_rdz21@dusty.tamiu.edu

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu