West Texas A&M University

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Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos – A Celebration of Life

Each fall, the WTAMU College of Education and Social Sciences hosts a celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the WTAMU campus. WTAMU students and community participants under the outstanding leadership of our faculty design and install ofrendas (altars) celebrating the lives of individuals of personal or professional importance to them. The campus and community actively participate in the week-long events associated with the celebration. The events have been well attended and very positively received   by the community. In fact, the success of the celebration prompts us to continually expand this interesting and important cultural event.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexican and in most Hispanic cultures and increasingly throughout the southwestern United States. The holiday focuses on gatherings to remember friends and family members who have died. It is celebrated throughout Mexico, where it attains the quality of a national holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1–2. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars (ofrendas) honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, together with traditional and contemporary music. The celebration is a joyous one – we have emphasized that the WTAMU event is A Celebration of Life!

We have developed a high visibility, annual event that showcases the WTAMU College of Education and Social Sciences and our outstanding students while generating funds for scholarships in the college. All proceeds from the event support scholarships in the college including a newly established scholarship benefiting Latino students.

We are pleased to announce the 2017 WTAMU Dia de los Muertos-Celebration of Life:

Saturday, Oct 23.

Approximately 100 ofrendas will be installed in the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) created by WTAMU students and community participants under the direction of WTAMU faculty.

Tuesday, Oct. 26-Friday, Oct. 27

Area schools and the community are invited to view the ofrendas with WTAMU students providing a “gallery talk” and interactive art activities for the children attending.

Friday, Oct. 27–Gala Fiesta

Gala Reception (5-7 pm) - Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum featuring ofrendas and Mariachi Nuevo Sonido, Albuquerque - strolling Mariachi music. Refreshments and Cash Bar.

Gala Dinner (7-10 pm) – JBK Legacy Hall featuring dancing to the music of Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter
Micky Cruz and his band. Cash Bar. Gala dinner courtesy of La Fiesta Grande, Jorge’s, Tacos Garcia, Pepito’s-Canyon, El     Vaquero, Lucy’s Kitchen Restaurant-Vega.

Tickets $75 each including Gala Reception, Dinner, and Dancing (Cash Bar). A table of 8 guests $1,000. Please call 806-651-2600 for tickets.

Grammy nominated artist, Micky Cruz was born in Nicaragua. He was orphaned at the age of two when his family was killed in the Nicaraguan war in the late 1970s. He raised himself on the streets of Central America and Mexico. Micky is a self-taught musician and composer who writes and produces all of his own music. Micky Cruz has performed extensively throughout the southwest and is an award winning New Mexico musician having received the coveted Los 15 Grandes award several times in past years! Micky's music is best described as Cumbia, Salsa, and Reggae with an interesting, refreshing twist where Micky has combined styles together and invented "Cumbegue" music.

Transportation will be provided between the PPHM and the JBK Legacy Hall.