Día de Muertos community celebration at WSU Tri-Cities

By Lacey Desserault

A celebration for Día de Muertos will take place on the Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities campus to honor and celebrate those who have passed. The event is Thursday, Nov. 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

The event is hosted by WSU Tri-Cities MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion, Dreamers Club, Foodies Club, and the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A variety of activities will be open for all ages, including arts and crafts, live entertainment, music, and food trucks. A community altar will also be provided for individuals to honor loved ones through photos and cherished items.

“My understanding of Día de Muertos is that it is a time for family, friends, and community to come together and honor those that we have loved,” said Kauser Gwaduri, coordinator for the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion. “We can celebrate their lives, their impact in our world and in our hearts, and make sure that those who are currently living take time to celebrate each other and where we are now. By honoring and celebrating our deceased, they continue to live on in our memories and in our hearts.”

Día de Muertos is a primarily Hispanic tradition and is typically celebrated in the beginning of November to remember the deceased. Traditionally, altars, or ofrendas, are built to display memorabilia and photos of loved ones, along with favorite foods and beverages, to encourage the importance of family and memories.

Raul Contreras, assistant director of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, appreciates the opportunity to celebrate on the WSU Tri-Cities campus each year. “My favorite moment was being able to place a photograph of my paternal grandparents on the altar. This is where I truly got to experience the true meaning of Día de Muertos. They passed away before I got to celebrate my graduation from WSU with them. For a moment in time, I felt their presence with me. I knew I could finally give them a tour of the campus I spent so much time in. Their love was with me one more day. I’m glad I’m able to come back and partner with WSU Tri-Cities to help give students the chance to honor and remember their loved ones,” he said.

Click here for more information on the Día de Muertos celebration.