- Oct. 27, 2020
-- The City of Los Angeles and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez present a "Dia de los Muertos" drive through experience honoring those who have passed away from COVID-19. Beginning November 1, 2020 and running till November 15, 2020 a "Dia de los Muertos" altar will be on display at Pacoima City Hall.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez explains the history of "Dia de los Muertos" and this year's special celebration:
"Every year, our Latino community celebrates Dia de los Muertos — a holiday to remember and pay homage to those who are no longer with us. Traditionally, our office would close down Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima and host a street festival. However, given the COVID-19 pandemic and our responsibility to socially distance, this year we will be creating an elaborately decorated altar at Pacoima City Hall to commemorate those who have passed."
Latino families in the Northeast San Fernando Valley are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to household size, socioeconomic status, and the industries of their employment. In Los Angeles County, residents in low-income communities, like Pacoima, are infected with the virus at twice the rate of those in wealthier communities, according to an LA County Health Department database as of October 21, 2020. Latinos in Los Angeles County account for 48.6% of the deaths due to COVID-19 and over 60% of the COVID-19 related cases.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City's Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a two-day festival that takes place every November 1 and 2. Although most strongly identified with Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Latin America. This is the 6th annual celebration of its kind for Pacoima. Día de los Muertos is a day of commemoration - an opportunity for individuals to come together to focus on their loved ones who have passed away, and to honor, revere, and celebrate their memory. Far from the somber tones of many Western European or North American funeral services, Día de los Muertos is a time of celebration. It is believed that upon these two nights of the year the deceased may return and visit with the living. Many of the practices associated with the holiday are meant to guide the deceased back to the homes of the living and, once there, help them remember the sensations and experiences they had while they lived. For a brief time, the living and the dead are reunited - a suitable cause for celebration.