Digital Exclusive: Briar Cliff University students unveil Day of the Dead altars

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A student organization at Briar Cliff University (BCU) are bringing a Hispanic tradition to the school this week.

The Spanish-International club have several Day of the Dead altars set up in Heelan Hall as part of their Hispanic Heritage Day celebration.

“Here for the Spanish-International, we’re trying to represent our cultures. I was born and raised in Mexico, so for me here, it’s like important to show others our culture, how Mexicans, we’re doing all this to be able to remember everyone that passed away,” said Andrea Perez, president of the Spanish-International Club at BCU.

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a tradition in Hispanic culture that is celebrated around Halloween, but it doesn’t involve going door to door for candy.

“So, we honor the people who passed away. We’ve done that many years in our culture and we wanted to do that here in Briar Cliff. We couldn’t do that without the support of the Spanis program and the Multi-cultural program,” said Raul Perez, ambassador to the Spanish-International Club at BCU.

With COVID-19 cases still rising, the club faced a few challenges in holding the event such as making sure students stayed socially distant while setting up.

“It’s affected it in a way. Normally we have a lot more people down here in viewing all at the same time and we kind of just gather and discuss and talk and remember the lives of people either personally that we know or just in general, and how this has affected them and celebrate their life,” said Heather Boden, student at BCU.

“I think it’s very important because some people don’t actually understand what our cultures are until we like actually go out and show them what we want them to see. So, it’s not easy for us to just talk about it. It’s easier for us to actually show them what we do so they can have a better understanding and not just like as Mexicans, but like people from every where else in the country,” said Perez.

The altars will be on display for students to view until October 30th.


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