The Day of the Dead is for everybody. Photo: La Colmena.
The celebration was to remember lives lost to COVID19 and do voter outreach for Election Day.
STATEN ISLAND, NY – On a solemn Sunday evening, La Colmena and L’Unicorns, Staten Island’s first Latinx LGBTQ + immigrant group, organized a ‘Dia de Los Muertos» or Day of the Dead celebration that saw dozens dressed as Catrinas, the most representative image of the Day of the Dead that includes many humorous or pretty portrayals of skeletons.
Dancing and Mariachis singing, participants walked along Port Richmond avenue holding pictures of deceased loved ones.
The march culminated at an altar ornated with traditional Mexican food and flowers built in La Colmena to honor loved ones who lost their lives to COVID19. Colmena staff were also on hand to help members of the public find their voting location as well as how to submit their absentee ballots to ensure they cast their vote on Election Day.
“This year’s Day of the Dead was meant not just to remember and honor our Staten Island neighbors who lost their lives to COVID19 but also to prompt civic action from those of us who are still in this earth, “ said Yesenia Mata, executive director of La Colmena.
“Immigrants and communities of color were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. That is why we used this solemn celebration to get the word out on the voting power of our immigrant and Latinx community. When we vote, we have a say in how government helps our communities and ensures we are not forgotten,» she pointed out.
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who is also the Chair of the Committee on Immigration at the NYC Council, committed to ensure immigrants are not forgotten by all levels of government should a vaccine become available.