Several of the volunteers and community members at the Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 3. From left: Adriana Hernandez Chavez, Adriana Hernandez Hernandez, Nayeli Muñoz, Alicia Spinner, Mariana Garza Lopez, Marisol Visser, Hilda Leal, Selen Soto Gonzalez y Daniela Reveles. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Several of the volunteers and community members at the Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 3. From left: Adriana Hernandez Chavez, Adriana Hernandez Hernandez, Nayeli Muñoz, Alicia Spinner, Mariana Garza Lopez, Marisol Visser, Hilda Leal, Selen Soto Gonzalez y Daniela Reveles. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Community gathers for annual Day of the Dead celebration

On Nov. 3, communtiy memebrs came out to the Issaquah Latino Club’s annual Day of the Dead event.

Community members came out to Blakley Hall on Saturday, Nov. 3, for the Issaquah Latino Club’s annual Day of the Dead event.

Featuring a handmade altar, various tables for kids crafts and activities, and a potluck dinner prepared by community members, the event was seemingly a huge hit. The Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, is a traditional Mexican holiday where people celebrate and honor the lives of loved ones who have died.

Alicia Spinner, founder of the Latino club and editor of the Issaquah Schools Foundation magazine Cultural Connections, said the community event initially was held at her home with just a few decorations. Over time her neighbors and other community members started getting involved leading Spinner and another community member to trade off hosting the event at their homes every other year. Eventually the number of attendees were too great and the house was no longer a big enough venue.

After three years, Spinner contacted Christy Gerrard, executive director of the Issaquah Highlands council, to ask if they could use Blakely Hall as the location for a community Day of the Dead event. Blakely Hall has been the event’s location event since.

Selen Soto-Gonzalez, an Issaquah resident contributed to the event this year by designing the altar where photos of family members who have died were displayed. She explained the various different elements that go into the design and the cultural significance of the altar itself. Food, drinks and other items were placed around the altar as tribute to the dead.

Soto-Gonzalez said the event fosters cultural connections not just with the community but with the people who have died. Events like the Day of the Dead connect people with their cultural traditions and those traditions connect families by remembering and honoring the lives of the people who have died.

The altar was designed by Selen Soto-Gonzalez and is a tribute to the lives of family members who have died. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

The altar was designed by Selen Soto-Gonzalez and is a tribute to the lives of family members who have died. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

‘La Catrina’ handmade by local artist Sarahi Ayala-Vela. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

‘La Catrina’ handmade by local artist Sarahi Ayala-Vela. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Franco Esquivel looks up after working on his arts and crafts along with many of the other kids at the event. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Franco Esquivel looks up after working on his arts and crafts along with many of the other kids at the event. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

More in News

King County’s $5 million derelict boat problem

When a boat sinks, it costs a lot to bring it up, with millions being spent since 2003 on removals.

Issaquah asks citizens what they want in a city administrator

The opinion of the citizens will play a factor in the hiring process of a new city administrator.

Issaquah residents file for November 2019 general election

Residents in the city of Issaquah and the Issaquah School Districts have… Continue reading

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn sent a letter to the FBI asking for them to help investigate Allan Thomas (pictured), who is under investigation for stealing more than $400,000 of public funds and skirting election laws in an Enumclaw drainage district. Screenshot from King 5 report
King County Council requests report on special districts in wake of fraud allegations

Small, local special districts will face more scrutiny following Enumclaw drainage district case.

Issaquah High School employee one of five confirmed with measles

School urges families to monitor children for signs.

The Marquee on Meeker Apartments, 2030 W. Meeker St. in Kent, will feature 492 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail. The first phase of 288 apartments is expected to be completed in early 2020. Developers are targeting people in their 20s and 30s to rent their high-end, urban-style apartments. Steve Hunter/staff photo
Housing study pokes holes in conventional wisdom

High construction and land costs will incentivize developers to build luxury units.

Eviction reform passed by state Legislature

Tenant protections included longer notices and more judicial discretion.

Hospital workers support HB 1155 to implement uninterrupted rest breaks and provide limitations on the use of additional on-call work. Courtesy Photo
Legislature passes break and overtime protections for health care workers

Washington State House and Senate have passed HB 1155 providing hospital workplace improvements.

Overdose deaths continue to rise locally and nationally

This may not be the same opioid epidemic anymore.

Most Read