The SEMHS M.E.Ch.A club hosts Dia de los Muertos Catrina Contest 2021



Group photo of the contestants

Janira Hernandez, Photography editor

On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021, the M.E.Ch.A club here at SEMHS hosted a Catrina contest. According to, the history of the Catrina dates back to Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada from the year 1910. The main idea of Día De Los Muertos is to honor those who have passed away, which is celebrated by most traditional families. During this remembrance, one might set up an altar along with the people who have passed away’s favorite food/drinks as an offering. Within the altar are images of the passed-on members in order to serve as a reminder to not forget their loved ones. M.E.Ch.A hosted this contest to honor and raise awareness of the significant meaning of the celebration. 


The celebration took place during lunch. Members and non-members participated by dressing up and putting on their best Catrina makeup. Music was played while the Catrinas walked throughout the campus and into the quad. It was apparent that many of the participating Catrinas put their best efforts into the contest. Some wore traditional dresses called huipils, and others wore dresses that resembled or represented the Latino culture. When asked about the contest experience, “ The event gave Chicanos an opportunity to show pride of their culture. It made me and I’m sure it made other students feel excited to show off the aspects of our culture.“ say M.E.Ch.A club member and event participant Zulema Martinez. She adds that she thought the event “ was really beautiful.” and “loved the altar seeing students go up to it and admiring the decorations.” As for the makeup, students took creative liberty while honoring this special day. Throughout the span of the celebration, students gathered to view the Catrinas as well and everyone actively watched as the music played and contestants walked through the runway various times. Although most were to walk solo down the walkway, various students created groups that walked in unison.  


When it came to the planning of the event, the M.E.Ch.A club took it upon themselves to contact the school counselors and invite them to be judges in order to determine the winners of the event. The club cabinet also participated and helped plan the event which consisted of Janira Hernandez (President), Elizabeth Amezquita (Vice-president), Mia Martinez (Historian), Adriana Cervantes (Secretary), Michelle Martinez (Sergeant of Arms), and Monserrat Cano (Treasurer). The Sergeant of Arms, Michelle Martinez along with club Advisor Dr.Torres, who supported the club by being the MC presenter for the event. The Altar set up was set up by the cabinet members and the prizes were also made by them.  Spanish teacher Mr. Lopez provided an altar which consisted of pictures of past loved ones. It also included Mexican candy which students could grab when invited onto the stage, Marigolds, which are traditional flowers one usually puts on an altar, and boxes in which one could write notes to their loved ones. 


Overall, the event proved to commemorate the meaning of the cultural holiday as well as allowed peers to pay their respects to their past loved ones. The holiday is a celebration of life after death and M.E.Ch.A helped keep the memories formed with those who passed away alive. It is important that this day leaves a significant memory in the Latino culture. This occurrence brought a sense of pride to SEMHS and provided some students an opportunity to feel confident about their culture and traditions.