Marchers circle campus for USU Day of the Dead procession

Dozens of people joined the USU Latinx Creative Society for the group’s fifth annual Dia de los Muertos procession.

The group, donning painted skulls and marigolds, looped its way through Utah State University campus singing traditional folk songs. Leading the way was Crescencio Lopez-Gonzalez, assistant professor of Latinx Studies at Utah State University.

Lopez-Gonzalez said the main idea behind the Day of the Dead is to welcome loved ones who have passed away — to honor and commemorate the dead.

“The procession, in itself, is a festivity,” Lopez-Gonzalez said. “It is a welcoming, it’s a celebration, but it also goes beyond.”

Lopez-Gonzalez said, though many participants come from different cultures and backgrounds, he wants to “show the community we’re still here.”

“Here at Utah State, more than anything else, is to reconnect with the roots and empower ourselves through culture,” Lopez-Gonzalez said.

This year, Lopez-Gonzalez said the group wanted to honor the indigenous, young children who die after being separated at the border. He said a few days prior to the procession they made altars to commemorate the deceased.

“We welcomed them and we had food for them, and flowers and stories of them,” Lopez-Gonzalez said. “The festivities today is just to celebrate that they are here with us and that we haven’t forgotten them.”

Lopez-Gonzalez said his mother would take him to the cemetery every year, and she has continued to do it for the past 50 years. It’s a family festivity Lopez-Gonzalez wants to share with his children.

“It’s passed on from generation to generation,” Lopez-Gonzalez said. “I, personally, have decided to do it because I want to pass it on to my daughters.”

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