Students make ofrendas to honor family, friends


Marlen Tellez

A Cicero church honors ancestors who have passed with ofrendas.

Ashley Ramirez, reporter

A large percentage of Morton East students make ofrendas for Dia de Los Muertos

According to Smithsonian Blog,  normally, people think that Dia de Los Muertos is like Halloween, but it’s not.  Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration that originated in Mexico and Central America with each day celebrated differently. One day is to celebrate children; another day is to celebrate adults. “Indigenous groups, including Aztec, Maya, and Toltec” were the first people to celebrate and start practicing the ritual.  Most people think that Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration of death, but really it celebrates the lives of our loved ones who passed away. “Ofrenda is the central component,” a display of Dia de Los Muertos.  Typically, this display includes flowers, butterflies, and skulls (sometimes made of sugar).  In a random poll of 24 Morton East High School students, 10 usually make an Ofrenda for Dia de Los Muertos.

“I have an Ofrenda in my house,” Texas resident Michael Becker said.

Not everybody celebrates Dia De Los Muertos, and that is fine because not everybody follows the same celebrations or traditions

“My family has one big Ofrenda in my mom’s house and every year we all meet up on Día Del Los Muertos to celebrate,” Texas resident Isaiah Johnson Friend said.

Others later on in their lives decide that they want to start new traditions.

“We have never really had an ofrenda (growing up), but two years ago we started to make Ofrendas,” Texas resident Alex Velasquez said.

Another friend that never really cared up until he got older when he realized that it’s apart of his culture.

Some learn about the tradition, appreciate it, and give it their own meaning.
“I’m not sure about how many actual families in Cicero actually make ofrendas, but I do know that the students make them every year in Spanish and art. And, I actually made one this year — to honor relatives and pets that have passed.  It was something interesting for me to do with all this time on my hands,” journalism teacher Kent Frankfother said.