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Last week, the Carolina Latinx Center (CLC) hosted our annual Día de los Muertos celebration event. For those who do not celebrate Día de los Muertos or are unfamiliar, Día de los Muertos is a holiday that commemorates loved ones who have passed in order to keep their legacies and identities with us and never forgotten. Although it is most famously known as a celebration in Mexico, many other Latin American countries like Columbia, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela all have their distinct ways of welcoming back their past loved ones.

In honor of family, friends, and loved ones who have passed, the CLC staff and community members gathered in La Sala on Tuesday, November 1st. As a group, everyone came together to color calaveras (skeletons) and write the name of each member they were commemorating. During the event on Tuesday, students and community members were encouraged to bring their own items to add to the altar and share a bit about themselves and the loved one they were commemorating. Along with sharing sweet memories and keeping these legacies alive, everyone was welcome to relax and eat some pan de muerto. For those who are unfamiliar with pan de muerto, it is a traditionally sweet circular bread with bone like shapes on the top to imitate a calavera. In attending the event, community members were able to find a safe space to be vulnerable and celebrate people important to them.

On November 2nd, we were invited to take our celebration on location to Rams Court where Carolina Fever hosted their annual 3×3 tournament. The proceeds from the tournament are being sent to Vs. Cancer, a foundation that empowers any sports team, any athlete, any community to help kids with cancer. This was an excellent opportunity for us to join forces and showcase how this holiday can be celebrated by all and that it is not meant to be a sad day. Those who played shared names and stories for who they were playing in memory of and the beautiful calaveras decorated the night before were put on display for everyone to see and remember on a community altar that we set up in the lobby of the courts.

We are so grateful to everyone that came and celebrated Día de los Muertos together, it is an honor and we hope we can continue this tradition for years to come.