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College News

Lakeshore Campus sets up ofrenda for Day of the Dead

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 01, 2021

College of Lake County (CLC) built and will display an ofrenda in the Student Life Center of the Lakeshore Campus for Day of the Dead to honor the loss of life from COVID-19 in the community. The ofrenda will be up from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8.

Photo of the Lakeshore ofrenda“We at CLC think it is important to continue the tradition of the ofrenda, or altar, in particular during the COVID pandemic,” said Jesus Ruiz, Dean of the Lakeshore Campus. “As we celebrate Day of the Dead at Lakeshore, we also want to make people aware of the great loss we have all endured these last two years and the importance of getting vaccinated. We have lost enough loved ones already, and Waukegan was one of the hardest-hit areas in our county.”

“Creating this felt more important than ever this year due to the current state of the world,” said Katrina Davis-Salazar, a successful mixed media artist, art instructor at CLC and CLC’s Community Art and Engagement Coordinator. “We are thankful to our CLC art students, CLC leadership and Waukegan community members who assisted in creating this ofrenda.”

Many items traditionally displayed on ofrenda’s are too perishable, breakable or flammable to be publicly displayed, so the ofrenda will include art of things like calaveritas, sculptures and candles made by CLC art students. Anyone may bring in and place photos of loved ones who passed away from COVID-19 or any other reason.

The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico, parts of Latin America and areas of the U.S. that have a large Mexican population. Families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration. The living family members treat the dead as honored guests in their celebrations and leave the deceased's favorite foods and other offerings at gravesites or on the ofrendas built in their homes. Ofrendas can be decorated with candles, bright marigolds, photos, and food-like stacks of tortillas and fruit.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.