COD’s Latin American Studies Committee is happy to announce they’ve had another successful trip to Pilsen, Illinois for their annual Day of the Dead Trip. Approximately eighty people attended and were all fortunate for the nice sunny day it was on Oct. 27. The outing started off with a fun-filled bus ride with plenty of interactive games and activities. One included a packet with Day of the Dead vocab in Spanish and English where winners could win a personalized sugar skull.
“These games helped to get everyone in the spirit for the rest of the day,” commented Elizabeth Mares, committee Chair and associate professor in Spanish.
The day began with a walking tour of cultural murals where students of Casa Di Amigos and Alpha Mu Gama were prepared to give informative presentations about specific murals they researched. One mural included the Virgin of Guadalupe where students successfully explained the importance and significance of her to the group. Another was a mural of a family that represented the immigration issues of the Mexican community. Casa Di Amigos helped the group to understand the meaning behind the artwork, and described the struggle the family had to go through before moving to the states and how the family would be divided. “This particular mural was especially liked and admired by the groups and students were moved by it,” said John Paris, Co-Chair of LASC.
After the mural tour, people broke out in two separate groups for a guided tour at the National Museum of Mexican Art to view the “ofrendas”, which are alters that celebrate the deceased.
This is a temporary exhibit that is held for two months every year around this time.
Students and faculty then had free time to explore the Mexican-American town of Pilsen. Casa di Amigos and Alpha Mu Gamma suggested a number of bakeries, shops, and restaurants for everyone to visit.
LASC believes the two things that stood out most about this trip were the excessive amounts of student involvement and how much effort they put into making this outing educational and fun at the same time, and the great collaboration between LASC, Casa di Amigos, and Alpha Mu Gamma. They are all looking forward to collaborating even more in the future. LASC will be holding a table at the Global Education Fair on Nov. 14 and events next semester include a Salsa Dance in early Feb., an academic lecture in the March, and the Chicago Latino Film Festival in April.