Children’s faces disguised as skeletons played happily on the lawn at the Pan American Neighborhood park adjacent to Zavala elementary school for a recent Dia De Los Muertos Community event.
The event was put on by Austin ISD's 2017 Bond Program team in partnership with the Mexican American Cultural Center, Travis County Constable Pct. 4, H-E-B, and the Austin City Council. The meetup was free to the public, but recognized the east Austin communities served by Metz, Sanchez, and Zavala elementary schools.
The occasion celebrated the cultural holiday Dia De Los Muertos, also known as the day of the dead. It was also a chance for parents and faculty to have an opportunity to speak outside the classroom walls.
The gathering was met by food trucks and face painting stations. A screening of the Disney movie Coco, which features Dia De Los Muertos, was shown outside on the lawn while parents and their children relaxed on picnic blankets.
“It is just a nice thing for the community to do and my child loves it,” said Marina Ponce, a mother of a Zavala elementary student.
Olivia Tamzarian is a marketing coordinator at the Mexican and American cultural center. She says that this event brings both community and culture together in east Austin.
“I think it was a really fun way for people who live in this area to know about what is going on and to take advantage of that,” said Tamzarian. “This is just one of those free things that brings people together, and I think it is great and I hope that we keep it going in the future.”
Tamzarian added: “As you know east Austin is changing a lot and some of these types of gatherings are less and less available to people as they move farther and farther out of the city.”
Austin ISD and The Mexican American Cultural Center will continue to work together to help preserve the community culture and traditions by organizing programs and events like Dia de Los Muertos community event.
For more information on upcoming events in your community, please visit the Austin ISD website at AustinISD.org, the AISD bond website at aisdfuture.com, or The Mexican American Cultural Center at austintexas.gov/esbmacc.