Yesterday I shared my day exploring Los Angeles with the Chevy Silverado. I drove around L.A. collecting items for Dia de los Muertos.
Today we will take those items over to our friends' at Chiqui Social. Chiqui Social is in Culver City and "offers a rich, purposeful, safe, and well-designed space to support children’s holistic learning and social success."
I met Lizet, the founder of Chiqui Social, while at a bilingual workshop for multicultural parents my friend, Maritere Rodriguez Bellas was presenting. I knew after talking with Lizet that there was so much synergy and we both agreed to collaborate on an event around Dia de los Muertos.
So let's get going...
I drove the Silverado to the venue and arrived early to unload the ofrenda for the altar. You may recall that all the items were either purchased downtown or made at Self Help Graphics & Art.
Hola greets you as you arrive at Chiqui Social and immediately you understand their belief "that connecting to culture and community in a fun and social setting is the ideal way to deliver a memorable and meaningful introduction to Spanish."
The papel picado hung above the room where our Dia de los Muertos altar would be built. It swayed gently in the air conditioned room and it's gentleness symbolized the fragility of life.
It was time to get make-up applied.
Facial makeup is applied and designed to represent calaveras and La Catrina, one of the most famous of the calaveras.
Bright colors are chosen to represent the vibrancy of life.
It is a beautiful tradition and not supposed to be scary.
A beautiful floral crown finishes off the look.
Once makeup is applied it's time for Teacher B (Blanca) to read a book all about Dia de los Muertos to the children.
Blanca is an early childhood development educator, and mom of two. We were honored to have her join us and lead the discussion around the beauty, symbolism and cultural tradition the holiday brings.
"Dia de los Muertos brings families together and enables people to reconnect with family and friends; to celebrate those that have passed and to bring their memory back to life. A time to reflect and remember their stories and keep our culture alive. These traditions are important to give the next generation a sense of belonging and comfort."
After the beautiful story, it was time to create the altar.
The pungent marigolds help the souls find us.
Baby's breath can also be placed around the altar if children have passed.
Candles and incense guide the way for our loved ones.
Water, salt pan de muerto, fruit and food loved ones enjoyed can also be placed.
Dia de los Muertos is a social time. A celebration of loved ones that have passed but also a time to gather with those that are here with us.
It is a time for friends to come together and share memories and talk about their loved ones.
Dia de los Muertos is a time to pass on cultural tradition and to share the culture with others who want to learn.
It's a time-honored tradition. A legacy you can pass on to your children who will then prepare their own altar with their children. The circle of life, and death, will continue.
After an amazing Dia de los Muertos, it was time to go home.
Thankful for the auto stop/start technology which helps with fuel economy...so needed here in L.A.
With my clothing racks full of Mixed Up Clothing, I was glad the Chevy Silverado had such a large cargo space and the spacious interior offering more shoulder room and rear passenger space.
Here's a video recap.
So thankful to Chevrolet for this experience and I couldn't do it without the help from:
Venue: Chiqui Studio
Education: Blanca Villareal
Wardrobe: Mixed Up Clothing
Videography: Mike Bowers
Editing: Richard Kang
All our beautiful models and their family including Zadkiel, Tiana, Niya, Soleil, Lucas y Luna. And their very patient family members.