Students join celebration of Hispanic holiday

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


On Wednesday, students and staff at Washington High School had their faces painted like skulls, took selfies of their faces painted and enjoyed treats in the garden.

This was in celebration of Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, a Latin American holiday sponsored by La Onda.

?This is the first time they?ve had the face painting,? said Heather Lujano, La Onda adviser and bilingual outreach coordinator for the school district. ?Day of the Dead is a widely celebrated holiday throughout Latin America. The basic premise of the holiday is to celebrate the lives of the deceased and remember them.?

A lot of times people would prepare the favorite dishes of the deceased or decorate their homes, she added.

?Often they go to the cemetery and decorate their graves,? Lujano said, ?or even sometimes share a meal there.?

In years past, La Onda has done different things to celebrate at the high school, including decorating the garden.

Senior Jose Reyes has been a member of La Onda since his freshmen year.

?It?s been really great participating, getting out there and showing people what our culture is about,? he said.

Reyes credited Isabela Larios, who had her whole face painted as a skull with the idea of celebrating Dia de Los Muertos differently this year.

?Isabela is really passionate about this holiday,? Reyes said. ?She is just really passionate about face painting and she just wants to showcase her talents and bring this event to the next level.?

Larios had a line of students waiting for her to paint their faces the whole day.

Reyes said he was very pleased with how many people came to the event.

?We?ve probably had around 50 people come in and out of face painting, have some hot chocolate [and have] some fonda muertos ? the candied skulls,? Reyes said.