Community gathers at Edmonds Waterfront Center to mark Día de Los Muertos in style

The traditional Día de Los Muertos altar is flanked by (L to R) Latino Educational Training Institute Director of Operations Tom Laing and founder Rosario Reyes.

Community members packed the Edmonds Waterfront Center ballroom Thursday evening to join hearts and hands to honor their departed loved ones in a celebration of Día de Los Muertos, the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. The room was decked with festive décor, including the traditional altar with bright yellow, bronze and white marigold flowers, photos of those being honored, and favorite foods of the friends and family members no longer with us in this life.

The event — which drew 265 attendees — was sponsored by Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney and UNIDOS in partnership with the Edmonds Waterfront Center, Centro Cultural Mexicano, and the Latino Educational Training Institute. It included  food, music, dancing and costumes — all of which came together to create an infectiously joyous atmosphere.

Food is a traditional part of Día de Los Muertos, and there were trays of excellent tamales, Mexican pastries, and more for attendees to share.
The event also featured an arts and crafts area where attendees could fashion their own costume pieces.
Dancers with the Baile Folklore Colibri prepare to perform.
The Oceloti Cuauhtli Y Tlalokan Aztec dancers’ high energy, flamboyant costumes and expressive dancing kept the audience enthralled.

The evening’s entertainment concluded with the Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana providing a selection of traditional Mexican favorites included their rendition of “La Cucaracha” that got the audience clapping and singing along.

And speaking of food, there were plenty of traditional Mexican pastries, beverages and trays of mouth-watering tamales that just kept coming. Entertainment was provided by the Baile Folklore Colibre folk dancers (some as young as 5 years old), the Oceloti Cuauhtli Y Tlalokan Aztec dancers, and the Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana, who got attendees clapping and singing with a selection of familiar Mexican favorites.

After introductions by Marisol Bejarano, director of health and wellness at the Latino Educational Training Institute (LETI) and Waterfront Center CEO Daniel Johnson, it was time for Angie Himajos, co-founder of El Centro Cultural Mexicano and Chair of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, to take the podium. She gave a brief introduction and history of Día de Los Muertos.

Angie Himajos, co-founder of El Centro Cultural Mexicano and Chair of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, gave a brief introduction and history of the holiday.

Stressing that the holiday recognizes that death is part of life, she explained that it is not a sad holiday but rather a time to welcome back the souls of deceased relatives for a brief reunion to celebrate with them and share food, drink and joy.

“While they may have departed this life, as long as we remember they are not really gone,” she concluded. “Their souls live on in our hearts and minds.”

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.