Tenth grade students from High Tech High School in Chula Vista are bringing the dead back to life in the first annual Chula Vista Day of the Dead community celebration.
The Dia de los Muertos community celebration was held yearly at High Tech High School, but moved this year to Memorial Park and Bowl to try and start a new community tradition.
“At our school, High Tech High Chula Vista, we’ve been holding a Dia de los Muertos celebration since 2007,” said Lisa Davis, director of community partnership. “We were just inspired this year to be able to host it in the community to really just promote it as a cultural event for our community.”
The student-run event will showcase different styles of altars, sugar skulls, artwork and face painting.
“This is a way to show that just because you’re a 10th-grader doesn’t mean you can’t have impact in the community,” she said.
Renata Acavedo, a 10th-grader at High Tech High, said by participating in the event she is learning more about her Hispanic culture.
Acavedo helped with the logistics of the event such as creating the program, the schedule of events and populating the website.
Chula Vista’s OnStage Playhouse is working in collaboration with the high school to produce the event.
OnStage Playhouse is doing the promotions for the celebration as well as securing the appropriate city permits.
Davis said a Catholic priest is conducting the processional.
“We did opt to request the traditional Catholic priest to do the processional, even though that may not be as politically correct for the 21st century,” Davis said. “What we wanted to do with that is showcase that this is a cultural event grounded in history.”
Father John Dolan from St. Rose of Lima Church in Chula Vista will be leading the processional.
Davis said Dia de los Muertos is a way to not only celebrate death but life.
“A lot of people handle death in different ways and here is a real traditional way that is done in a way to celebrate peoples’ lives.”
Davis said there are many activities for the public to enjoy.
She said there will be sugar skull workshops, papel picado workshops, Aztec dancers, mariachis and food.
“I’m hoping to have the community realize that it is going to be a really fun event and that it continues for many more years,” Acavedo said.
The inaugural Chula Vista Day of the Dead celebration is made possible by a grant from the Chula Vista Performing Arts Program.
The celebration is Friday, Nov. 1, from 4 to 8 p.m.
To learn more about the event, visit www.cvdayoftheday.org