Learning about Dia de Los Muertos through Calaveras

By Division I Media & Journalism reporter Isabel

In Cristiana’s Spanish classes, students learned about Día de Los Muertos, which is a holiday celebrated in Mexico. Although its purpose is to remember the ones who have passed away, it is also a joyful celebration. One of the many treats that are placed on altars are sugar skulls, or calaveras in Spanish. In class, we had the chance to create our very own calaveras. First, we created the skulls. We used ingredients such as meringue powder and lots -- one whole pound! -- of sugar. The skulls were placed on a shelf in Cristiana’s room and were set to dry. After a few days, they were ready to be decorated.

For the icing, Cristiana had many different types of food coloring. We used many of the same ingredients, but this time those ingredients were whisked. After we got out little bowls and put the mixture in, each student picked a color and put a teensy little bit into the mixture in the bowl. Then, it was time to stir and stir and stir. After that, we got little plastic bags and put in little tops that could make the icing come out in different shapes like flowers or squiggly lines. Lastly, we put the mixture inside and put a rubber band on top so it would not spill.

Finally, it was time to decorate! We squeezed the mixture and decorated the calaveras. Payton, a ninth grade student in Cristiana’s intermediate class, made a beautiful altar and we put our calaveras there on top of colored paper.