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Inaugural Día de los Muertos event aims to honor departed loved ones

Inaugural Día de los Muertos event aims to honor departed loved ones
The UTHealth Houston Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites the community to participate by placing a photo, note, or marigold about a loved one who has passed to honor them. (Photo by Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in much heartache and death of friends, family, and colleagues outside and within the UTHealth Houston community.

To commemorate and remember the lives of those we have lost, for the first time, all six UTHealth Houston schools will be commemorating the Mexican cultural holiday Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with “Día de los Muertos at UTHealth.”

Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life and death. The concept is that during Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, the border between the spirit world and the real world is dissolved. During these days the dead return to the living world to feast and drink with their loved ones. The living family members leave the deceased’s favorite foods and offerings at their gravesite or an ofrendaOfrenda is a Spanish word that means offering. A traditional ofrenda during this cultural holiday contains favorite foods and beverages, photos, and memorabilia of the departed.

The UTHealth Houston Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites you to help recognize the Mexican cultural holiday by embracing the ofrenda during the week of Nov. 1-5. We invite the entire UTHealth Houston community to participate by placing a photo and a note about a loved one who has passed in order to honor them and their memories. From noon to 1 p.m. on Nov. 1, marigolds will be available to place on the ofrenda for those who do not wish to place a photo. The displays will remain through Nov. 5.

We invite you to stop by each school’s designated location during Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to participate or simply learn more about the holiday.

Learn more about the various objects on a traditional ofrenda online.

Locations of ofrendas:

  • McGovern Medical School: Leather Lounge
  • School of Dentistry: 4th floor near the Alumni Circle
  • School of Biomedical Informatics: 6th floor extension building by the staircase
  • Cizik School of Nursing: in front of the multipurpose room
  • MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School: GSBS Commons on the 3rd floor
  • School of Public Health: RAS Building lobby

Regional campus locations:

*Note the ofrendas are in the lobbies of each building*

  • School of Public Health Austin campus, UTA Building, 1616 Guadalupe, Ste. 6.300
  • School of Public Health Brownsville campus, SPH Building N, 80 Fort Brown
  • School of Public Health Dallas campus, Trinity Towers Building, 2777 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 8400
  • School of Public Health El Paso campus, Cardwell Collaborative Building, 5130 Gateway Boulevard East
  • School of Public Health San Antonio campus, 7411 John Smith Drive, Ste. 1100

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