Ofrendas by students and alumni honor loved ones for Dia de los Muertos

Submissions to University Times to honor dead include longtime Cal State LA staffer


graphic by Fatima Rosales Photos courtesy of Cal State LA community.

Ofrenda is Spanish for offering, an offering is placed in a home altar during the annual and traditionally Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration. Evelyn Guerra is celebrating Elsa Eloisa Leon Garcia (5) her abuelita and Alejandra Garcia is celebrating her dog Chloe Perez (6) during Dia de Los Muertos.

Kazzandra Gallegos will be remembering Maria Ubago, her mom, who sadly passed away in January of this year. “She worked for the College of Business and Economics and dedicated over 15 years of her life to Cal State LA. She was the reason I applied to attend this school in the first place and whenever I was scared or anxious, she was always there for me. She helped many professors and students alike, but most importantly, she was my rockstar who I love and miss dearly.

  Angelica Correa will be remembering Jose Correa,  her grandpa, her biggest supporter for everything and anything. “He always made sure my mom and I were well taken care of with love, finances, moral support, and comfort. Both of us are Pisces, so we were extremely close (even though he was born in March and I was born in February). When I was young, I would always spend the night at my grandparents house to get breakfast at McDonald’s the next day and then head to the mall to look around and see all the dogs there. If he had to choose a favorite child in the family, he would say me because I have a kind heart like he did. From him being part of my father and daughter dance for my Quinceañera to getting my senior sweater, he was always so proud of me, even the little things. Unfortunately, he passed in his sleep on May 7, 2019, just a couple weeks before I graduated high school. It tore me apart because I wanted to see him at my graduation, but it was that bittersweet moment of realization that he was at rest, and that he’s done everything to make sure I’m okay transitioning out of high school. It was an extremely rough time because I had to focus on senior activities and requirements, but even to this day, he’s still glued to my mind. I always see signs of him everywhere. Butterflies, snoopy, blue jays. I spot him everywhere I go, even if I don’t notice it. He’s actually the reason why I got into television and film, because I would always take his phone to film some stuff and he would tell me it would be wonderful to see my name on the screen. He was so impressed with my skills of filming, because I would always film him, my family, my dog, nature, everything I could capture. I got my first camera so I can capture all the moments. I often wish he was still here so we can get a happy meal together and talk about my film projects, but I know he’s somewhere watching me move forward. I do miss him, but I hope he is doing well.”

Chastain Flores will be celebrating Antonio Flores Bañuelos, her grandpa, abuelito. “He was always waking up early in the morning before anyone else to do what he loved most, gardening. That’s a memory I’ll have of him forever. Him being outside in his garden on the patio or in the back of the house taking care of his array of plants. He always had a story to tell us. When we went to visit him in Mexico, there was always something new we learned about. Sometimes about him, sometimes about my dad and his siblings and sometimes about the most random things. But it was always so interesting to sit and listen to what he had to say and about his perspective on life.”


Diane Levano will be celebrating Elvis Levano, Hugo Levano, Felicita Vicente, and Luzvinda Soto La Rosa, her dad, uncle and my two grandmas. “Let’s start with my dad. He has been my role model since I was little. He inspired me to keep going on with life because losing him was one of the worst nightmares I ever experienced. I am also celebrating my uncle, my dad’s brother. He was the best uncle I could ever have.”


Evelyn Guerra will be remembering Elsa Eloisa Leon Garcia, her grandma. “ I am celebrating my abuelita Elsa. She was my everything. I know she is in Heaven cheering me on as I come to finish my undergrad degree. Our bond was like no other. We had a long distance bond because she lived in Cuba. But, that never stopped our communication and love! Throughout my childhood, I would spend my summer vacations with her. I enjoyed helping her clean and cook. I loved spending time with her and wished time would have gone slower so I could have enjoyed her more. Her last two years of life, she was able to come to the United States and live with us. We became inseparable. I miss her beautiful consejos and sincere love. Vuela alto mi mariposa.”

Alejandra Garcia will be remembering Chloe Perez,  her first dog.Chloe was our first family dog, she was 1.5 years old when she passed. Chloe was a corgi, always happy and playful with all of us. She loved being in front of the AC in the summer and loved to be cuddled under the blankets in the winter. Chloe loved going for walks, especially playing in dog parks. She was my buddy when I stayed up late doing homework at night. She will be missed by my family dearly, but we are super thankful for the time we had with her and the memories we created. Chloe is in doggy heaven playing with other doggies, her toys and enjoying all her snacks.