For Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) this week, Bonnie Martinez's Literatura en Español (Literature in Spanish) class put together beautiful ofrendas (altars honoring the dead) in the Main Hall honoring famous Spanish literary figures. In this annual collaboration between the class and the STEAMWork Design Studio, Mr. Lorusso taught students (entirely in Spanish) to design and laser-cut traditional papel picado (cut paper banners), which were used to decorate the ofrendas.
The students researched literary figures including Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral and Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, wrote biographies and literary analyses of their work, and built ofrendas with objects and food symbolic of each person. They also studied the history of Día de Muertos, the perspective of death in Latin cultures as it is presented in the literature they’ve read, and the symbolism of the traditional items placed on ofrendas, such as marigolds, cups of water, salt, and candles.
“One of our favorite parts of learning about Día de los Muertos was that we got to learn about the ways that Latin cultures celebrate and view death as a natural part of life and how much it contrasts with idea of fear surrounding death that many people hold in the U.S.,” said Marly M. ’22 and Clara K. ’22. “We had so much fun building the ofrenda, working with the STEAM Lab to make the papel picado, and collecting traditional things that go on the ofrenda that we learned about in class.”
Click here to see more photos ofrendas from the class as well as from Lower and Middle School students in the Main Hall.