Day of the Dead


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This weekend, Somos Familia will be celebrating Día de los Muertos in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Sunday’s festival is themed Nuestras Raices: El Poder de la Comunidad (Our Roots: The Power of Community).

For those of us who didn’t grow up celebrating the holiday, Alexina Estrada describes it in her article Finding Myself Before I Leave Mills|Why I love Día de los Muertos in this week’s The Campinil. El Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) “is the one day of the year that our departed loved ones are allowed to come back and roam the earth from the afterlife. In preparation—months, weeks or days before—families put together an altar where they put a number of things: photos of their loved ones, marigolds that shine brightly like the sun and light the way from the afterlife, food that the deceased loved, as well as anything else that may have made them happy in their life on earth. Altares (altars) are decorated, ranging from simple to very extravagant styles. People also paint their faces like sugar skulls to express the understanding that life and death are both natural parts of life, that death doesn’t mean a person is gone, but means eternal life and rebirth.”

Somos Familia is creating an altar to honor our Latina/o/x LGBTQ ancestors as well as deceased community members who deeply affected our community. Read their stories below. This year’s altar will also feature a section for the 49 beautiful lives lost at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and the 23 transgender people murdered this year.

Come by our altar and grab information at our booth this Sunday in Fruitvale Plaza starting at 10AM. If you can’t be there in person, like us on Facebook to see photos, videos, and live updates from the event.

Who We Are Honoring