Day of the Dead celebration honors tradition, culture at west suburban high school

Día de los Muertos is a holiday meant to celebrate the lives of loved ones who are no longer here.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Right on the heels of Halloween is the Day of the Dead.

Like many events, celebrations for it have been canceled over the last year because of the pandemic, but this year, at least one celebration is back and people are loving it.

It's a sense of culture that people really missed during the pandemic. But now a proper celebration returns to Unity Junior High in Cicero, where families are coming to see art made by students, which is just a part of what makes the Day of the Dead so special.

"It's a sense of normalcy, right? Like, look at all these people here with us. I mean, it's awesome," said Dr. Aldo Calderin, District 99 superintendent.

That sense of normalcy was brought back by a long-time tradition in Mexican culture, a tradition this community chose to celebrate virtually last year because of the pandemic.

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"I enjoy it so much. You know, it's fun to get with the family. The little kids they love it," said Erik Robles.

"It's a collaboration between family, between teachers and students, in order to do some artwork to celebrate their culture," Dr. Calderin said.

Día de los Muertos is a holiday meant to celebrate the lives of loved ones who are no longer here.

"It's the time of the year when you pretty much make something special for your family that has passed away. And I think that you know, just remembering those memories, it's something that you know, touches your heart," Robles added.

After battling the hurdles of a pandemic, people in this community are just happy to celebrate their culture together again and teach future generations about these traditions.

"[It's a] very good thing to do as a family and to learn, you know, for people, like I said, that don't know about our culture and for the kids more than anything to learn," said Tanya Garcia.
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