SBVC Hosts Virtual Dia de los Muertos Event

This year's Dia de los Muertos Celebration was a little different, but no less special, with the San Bernardino Valley College community honoring their deceased loved ones virtually. Now in its 14th year, the Dia de los Muertos Celebration, presented by the SBVC Latino Faculty, Staff, and Administrators' Association, was moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Amelia Gonzalez, a member of the Dia de Los Muertos Committee, said that because the event has been growing every year, it was important to the team that the celebration continue, despite all of the obstacles.

"The committee did their best to capture what would normally transpire on this day," she said. "It was difficult to get participation from our campus clubs and students, but we were determined to find new ways of involving our campus."

Students were invited to submit photos and videos of their altars honoring loved ones, as well as original artwork and face painting creations. These pictures and clips were combined for a video gallery, with the photos also going up on the Art Department and Gresham Art Gallery Facebook and Instagram pages. As part of the celebration, Henry Vasquez, Ed Gomez, and Choki also provided a blessing on campus, which was filmed and shared online.

Gonzalez said 58 students participated in the Dia de los Muertos Celebration, and several campus departments and organizations — including the Film, Television, and Media Program, the Arts, Lectures & Diversity Committee, and the Art Department — helped make it all happen. 

Ernest Guillen, a member of the Dia de los Muertos Committee, said the feedback he received has been positive, with people telling him the tributes were "absolutely fantastic, beautiful, and moving" and they were "impressed, but not surprised, by the cross-campus collaboration that is evident in the whole presentation."