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October 18, 2013

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

Altar display

An altar display from the 2012 Día de los Muertos celebration. (Photo provided by Purdue Latino Cultural Center)
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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. 31 at the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms.

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 11th 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 Marisol Uribe, program coordinator for the Latino Cultural Center.

She 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. Individuals and organizations that want to provide an altar should reserve a space by contacting Uribe at muribe@purdue.edu by Oct. 22.

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, sponsored by the LCC and the Purdue Student Union Board, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Latino Cultural Center at 765-494-2530.

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: Marisol Uribe, Latino Cultural Center program coordinator, 765-494-2530, muribe@purdue.edu 

Antonia Munguia, Latino Cultural Center interim director, 765-494-7522, amunguia@purdue.edu