Dia De Los Muertos - Hispanic heritage on display

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, Montgomery Messenger

Paul Lopez, 11, Estrella Zamora, 6, and Max Zamora, 8, smile for the camera while their families set up a Day of the Dead display at the Montgomery Arts and Heritage Center. Paul and Max are two of the young dancers who will be performing during a free event at the center on Oct. 26. (Lisa Ingebrand photo)

Colorful banners, flowers, traditional breads, and beautiful skeletons are all part of a new display at Montgomery’s Arts and Heritage Center that showcases the Hispanic culture.

And, because it’s October, the Day of the Dead celebration is spotlighted.

“This is a big celebration,” Juan Zamora of Le Center stated. “People in Mexico stay up all night and party in the cemeteries, make special food, and celebrate. It’s incredible.”

Zamora and his wife, Sandra, try to keep their culture alive by teaching traditional dance and rituals to their children and young members of their extended family, including their son, Max, 8, and Zamora’s Godson, Paul Lopez, 11.

“We’ve been dancing traditional dances since we were like three or four,” spouted young Max, who attends Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Montgomery. “We danced at colleges, churches, and schools. We don’t even get nervous anymore.”

Lopez, who is from Le Center, but attends school in Cleveland, is excited to see Hispanic culture being showcased at the Arts and Heritage Center.

“This is great. Many people don’t know about our heritage, and this is a good way to teach them it’s way more than just tacos and burritos,” he stated. “And, for Hispanic people living here, it’s good for them to see this in a place like this.”

The Zamoras worked with members of their extended family and the center’s volunteers create the display on Sunday, October 13, using many of their personal items.

According to Zamora, Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated for three nights,....

To see more on this story pick up the October 24, 2019 print edition of the Montgomery Messenger.

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