MOUNT VERNON — With music, dancing, piñatas and skulls made of sugar, Mount Vernon High School students on Wednesday celebrated Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — in traditional style.

“This is about remembering the people who have passed and honoring the things they did when they were alive,” said mariachi teacher Ramon Rivera. “I really want it to be authentic.”

Students and staff brought in pictures of loved ones who have died as a way to remember them.

Senior Arleth Martinez-Sanchez, 17, brought a picture of her and her grandmother, who died in 2017, to display.

“My grandma, she’s really special to me,” Martinez-Sanchez said. “She took care of us.”

Wednesday’s event, which took place during the school’s lunch hours, was the first time Martinez-Sanchez had been able to celebrate the holiday with her classmates.

Many of her friends asked her about her grandmother and the Dia de los Muertos traditions, which she said she appreciated.

“I find that really beautiful,” she said.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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