Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Martha Deichler
BSUSD School-Community Liaison and OLAX Member 

OLAX (Organización de Latinx) Hosts Day of the Dead in Style


Last updated 11/21/2023 at 1:25pm

Esmeralda Lopez

Mia Garcia

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in many places in Mexico on November 1 to honor deceased children and November 2 to honor all deceased adult family and friends. Families build colorful and meaningful altars to honor their loved ones with their favorite food and drink and numerous symbolic items to lead them back on this one night of the year to visit and convene with their loved ones on earth.

Salt on the altar represents the continuance of life. The pungent smell of the marigolds helps to lead the souls back to the altar. Candles are lit to welcome the spirits back to their altars. Incense guides them. Water is a must to place on the altar to quench the thirst of the souls traveling long distances to arrive at the altar. Every item has a meaning and each is placed on the altars with reverence and respect. A photo of the loved one is a must on the altar. Without a photo, the deceased soul is not welcomed back.

This event is not a ghoulish or scary event. Au contraire, it is a time to remember and celebrate the good times one had while loved ones were on earth and to allow them an evening to return to eat their favorite foods, imbibe their favorite drinks (maybe a swig of tequila) and have a smoke.

Families gather around the altar and recount stories and memories of their loved ones. The mood is one of nostalgia, joy and remembrance. For many who have recently lost a loved one, it is a cathartic experience that leads to healing and closure.

This year's Dia de los Muertos was held at the Borrego Springs Community Resource Center (site of the former library) and was organized by OLAX.

OLAX is the Organización of Latinx, a group that is coming together as a 501c3 to represent our Latinx population in cultural events, at school board meetings and in community wide decisions that affect the future of Borrego Springs. Our Latinx population needs a voice and OLAX is that voice.

The term Latinx signifies people who come from Latin American countries (as opposed to Europe) and the x implies neither male or female. It is a term being used more and more in referring to our neighbors to the south.

If you missed us this year, please join us in 2024 and perhaps you can build an altar of your own. In the meantime, watch the movie "Coco" and you will smile from ear to ear and understand Dia de los Muertos with a whole other attitude!