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October 19, 2012

Purdue's Latino Cultural Center to celebrate 'Día de los Muertos'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Latino Cultural Center will celebrate "Día de los Muertos," or Day of the Dead, with music, crafts and food from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the YWCA in Lafayette.

The holiday has its roots in the Aztec and indigenous cultures of Mexico and is celebrated there and in Latino communities across North America on Nov. 1-2. It coincides with Roman Catholic and other Christian denominations' holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

The 10th annual event will feature ofrendas, or altars, made to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have departed. The altars are decorated with departed loved ones' prized possessions, said Omar Diaz, program coordinator for the Latino Cultural Center. He said the LCC encourages the creation of contemporary altars, with a focus on current issues, by using interactive, audio or visual representations dedicated to loved ones or causes such as breast cancer or diabetes.

Also featured will be the second annual "La Catrina" Challenge. "La Catrina" represents a Día de los Muertos figure created by Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The face typically reflects a female skull figure, but this challenge is open to everyone. Registration for the contest, co-hosted by the Latino Center for Wellness and Education, is from 4-5:30 p.m. Participants must have their makeup on before registering.

There also will be music and arts and craft stations where participants can decorate sugar skulls and paper masks. Traditional food, including "pan de muerto" (dead bread), also will be available.

The event is free and open to the public. The YWCA of Greater Lafayette is located at 605 N. Sixth St.

For more information, contact the Latino Cultural Center at 765-494-2530 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/424149424316363/?ref=ts&fref=ts

The Latino Cultural Center was established in 2003 as Purdue's first center for Hispanic and Latino cultures. The organization is a gathering place where people of similar cultures and backgrounds can come together to share events in the university community.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources: Omar Diaz, 765-494-2530, odiaz@purdue.edu

Maricela Alvarado, Latino Cultural Center director, 765-494-2530, alvardm@purdue.edu