The Latin America Hispanic Student Organization (LAHSO) of Harvard-Westlake (HW) hosted a field trip to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to celebrate Día de los Muertos Oct. 27. Harvard-Westlake students attended the largest Día de los Muertos celebration across in the United States.
“Students really enjoyed it and they gained a better understanding about the significance of this celebration. I don’t think any of the students who went knew of the importance of this celebration until they were part of it. I have had a few students already express their interest in going again next year,” said Spanish teacher and coordinator for the field trip, Anamaria Ayala.
Approximately 70 students and 12 faculty members from the middle and upper school attended the event, which was sponsored by Yogu Kanthiah, an HW parent.
“We could not have done this field trip without his unconditional support,” Ayala said in an email.
Students were able to experience the Hispanic culture of this event first-hand. They were able to view many altars created in remembrance of loved ones. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is known for having a collection of creative altars for this holiday. Many students said that they were in awe of what they saw.
“It was a really fun experience to get to see all of the different aspects of how Día de los Muertos is celebrated and I had a really good time,” LAHSO club leader, CC Mesa ’22 said.
Many students expressed interest in the field trip and the holiday of Día de los Muertos.
“My favorite part of the trip was seeing how all of the people there were so involved and how they had their own take on this event through their costumes, masks, ofrendas and all of the decorations around. You could see how people really put their hearts into this cultural event,” Charlotte Massey ‘22 said.