Día de los Muertos at MMS: A Cultural Celebration

Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) annual celebration of Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is fast approaching! Spanish teachers Carolina Riano and Sara Sobkoviak invite parents, visitors and the community to view the students’ altar or art installation outside of the Spanish classroom at the upper campus starting October 31.

This installation will feature the art projects, poetry, food and drink created by all MMS students, preschool through grade 12. This past week students have been busy creating the centerpiece for the installation as well as dioramas, decorative candles, skeleton figurines, calaveras or sugar skulls, and decorative papel picado tissue paper banners to fill the space.

High school students are working on poetry, short stories and art, to remember and honor dear loved ones who have passed. If your student or family would like to contribute an item to the installation to honor a loved one, please bring your labeled item to the school office by October 30, so that we may place it on the display.

Delicious homemade, pan de muerto or Bread of the Dead made by preschool, kindergarten and fifth grade students, and refreshing jugo de Jamaica, or hibiscus juice, prepared by third graders, will be available to sample.

Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a celebration that takes place most notably in Mexico and is the result of cultures and traditions merging throughout history. During the course of two days (November 1-2), families gather and take a special journey to the grave sites and resting places of their loved ones to spend the days and evenings celebrating their past lives feasting, dancing, and sharing memories. This is a time of reflection and appreciation of the time they had with them. This special holiday is not related to Halloween and is not meant to be scary. It is a time to reflect and remember the special loved ones, the angels in our lives, even pets who have passed away. Traditionally altars are decorated with flowers, candles, sugar skulls, figurines, and food and objects representing loved ones.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.