Cultivando Tiempo: Day of the Dead Exhibit 2019
MCCLA, October 18–November 16, 2019















































Our natural environment manifests the cyclical phases of birth, growth, and death through seasons, animals, vegetation, and the cosmos. The ancestors in native beliefs were not limited to humans. Ancestors also included fauna, flora, minerals, and elements. A relationship that is fundamental in sustaining the tradition of building altar spaces to honor humans and non-humans alike.

In practice the celebration of the Day of the Dead is a healthy way to grieve, to heal, and to relate with our environment. At MCCLA, our Day of the Dead exhibit has been used as a platform to address socio political issues that have contributed to mass deaths in our community, and has given a safe space to freely mourn our deceased kin.

This year we honor time and our relationship to Mother Earth with gratitude.


The central altar symbolizes the sun and functions like a compass that points to the directions of west, south, east, and north where the main altars are positioned.


Mara's altar installation is titled “El Agua No Entiende de Fronteras/Water Doesn’t Understand Borders":

Water Doesn’t Understand Borders


This altar is dedicated to children, the south, summer and the element of water. Blue represents the peaceful, playful and carefree nature of children, summer skies, oceans, rivers and also tears. 


This installation mourns a loss of innocence, as we remember and honor the lives of seven beautiful children who crossed borders with their loved ones, were held in detention centers in the United States and passed away too soon:


  • WILMER JOSUE RAMIREZ  (2 years old)

  • FELIPE GOMEZ ALONZO  (8 years old)

  • MARIEE JUAREZ  (1 year old)

  • DARLYN CORDOVA-VALLE  (10 years old)

  • JUAN DE LEON GUTIERREZ  (16 years old)

  • CARLOS HERNANDEZ  (16 years old)

  • JAKELIN CAAL MAQUIN  (7 years old)

Immigration, like water, is a live-giving source that needs to flow. Waves crashing into the altar of the deceased children symbolize the pain caused by building walls and attempting to detain nature.

El Agua No Entiende de Fronteras


Este altar está dedicado a los niños, al sur, al verano y al elemento agua. El azul representa la naturaleza pacífica, juguetona y despreocupada de los niños, los cielos veraniegos, los océanos, los ríos y también las lágrimas. 


Esta instalación lamenta la pérdida de la inocencia, a medida que recordamos y honramos las vidas de siete hermosos niños que cruzaron fronteras con sus seres queridos, fueron retenidos en centros de detención en los Estados Unidos y fallecieron demasiado pronto:


  • WILMER JOSUE RAMIREZ  (2 años de edad)

  • FELIPE GOMEZ ALONZO  (8 años de edad)

  • MARIEE JUAREZ  (1 año de edad)

  • DARLYN CORDOVA-VALLE  (10 años de edad)

  • JUAN DE LEON GUTIERREZ  (16 años de edad)

  • CARLOS HERNANDEZ  (16 años de edad)

  • JAKELIN CAAL MAQUIN  (7 años de edad)

La inmigración, así como el agua, es una fuente dadora de vida que necesita fluir. Las olas que se estrellan contra el altar de los niños difuntos simbolizan el dolor causado por la construcción de muros y el tratar de deter la naturaleza.


To learn more about MCCLA click here.

Click here to see MCCLA's photo gallery of this event.