Our Guest From Mexico
Every year at the end of October
thousands of butterflies come to Michoacan. That is where Veronica
Verduzco comes from in Mexico. The people there believe that the butterflies
bring the spirits of all their dead friends and families back to visit them.
So on November second they celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, The Day Of The Dead.
My class has been doing research on this holiday. It is a day to honor
your ancestors. Veronica is studying at New York University and she
came to visit us from the Global Classroom program at Metro International.
Their holiday comes around the same time
as Halloween but they don't try to frighten children with ghost stories.
They are full of joy and happiness because they want to remember all of the
good times they had with the person who died. They pay their respect
and then they eat, sing and dance. I think that what they do is better than
what we do because they feel free and happy, not full of sorrow.
In our country we put the people who died
in a coffin and bury them. After the funeral we pray and we hope they
live in a better place in heaven with God. We believe that they are
watching over us. Sometimes we see pictures of people in heaven with
wings like angels and halos on their heads. But when we looked at pictures
on the Internet, we saw that people who celebrate The Day Of The Dead like
to see them doing the same things they enjoyed when they were alive, only
now they are skeletons. So we saw them driving in their car and even
My step mother is from Mexico so I already
knew something about the holiday. I like the altars the people make
to welcome the spirits of the dead. They decorate them with papel picado
which is paper cut out to make beautiful designs like the skull Veronica
brought. We also helped her to decorate an altar in class.
It was very creative and colorful.
The doll represents the person who died.
There is water and hot chocolate for her spirit to drink when it comes back
to visit. The skulls are made of sugar. The Pan Muerto is sweet bread
for the dead to eat and the living also enjoy these things at the celebration.
We put fruit and flowers on the altar and
lots of pretty cutout paper. There was a candle to light the way for
the spirit to return. It had pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary
like we have in our church. We sang a Spanish song that was happy to
remember the dead.
Veronica is a very skilled artist.
She made miniature coffins with skeletons. Everything was made out of
sugar and it all had beautiful colors. She even decorated the bread
It was an extraordinary day. I
learned that you shouldn't be sad about death. Be happy. They're
having a good time. They wouldn't want you to be crying. Tears
won't bring them back. So enjoy your life. Just be good, and
when your time comes, you might go to heaven and be with your friends who
passed away too.
Linked Web Sites
Global Classroom, Metro
Dia De Los Muertos
Mr. Greenberg, Teacher
Public School 241
976 President Street
Brooklyn, New York 11225 USA