CS 4 Altares

Image Source: Internet search 2020 for educational purposes.

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Chicana/o Studies 4: Introduction to Chicana/o Studies,
Professor Haydee Urita-Lopez
Email: UritaLH@elac.edu

This Chicana/o/x Studies introductory course offers a multidisciplinary framework that empowers the students in their own process of self-identity and cultural awareness.  Personal expressions demonstrate the student’s interpretation of their cultural identity and their own understanding of the long standing traditions, appreciation, and sentiment of making an altar. One of the outcomes of this course is for students to explain and evaluate how concepts of race and ethnicity are socially and politically constituted and institutionalized through identification, description, and critical analysis of important works in Chicana/o/x scholarship, Chicana/o/x cultural/artistic expressions, and political movements. (In case you are wondering about the “X” it is not a trend, here is a critical perspective article to offer insight).

As part of their midterm exam, an option to do the “Altar D.I.Y.” (do it yourself) was offered to students interested in learning more about the basics of creating an altar. Students self-selected who to honor as part of their ofrenda or altar – either a loved one, or a cultural icon related to the themes of this course. 

For each altar, the student was required to include the 4 natural elements of an altar. Students submitted photos, a brief cultural traditions memo discussing their approach, and a brief video explaining the elements of the altar. Here are some explainer slides that help you understand the basics, especially if this is your first time learning about altars.

Students added other key elements and symbols to their altares based on research of their loved one’s life. Likewise, in the case of cultural icons, students added other symbols based on their personal connection to that icon, and also based on research of that icon’s life experience and history. You will notice that some of these altares are very personal to the students and their families who represent different stages of honoring the life and memory of a loved one, including an ongoing grieving process. Thank you for respectfully learning about their process and their personal journeys in honoring the life of their loved ones.

Below each student’s name is hyperlinked to a writing exercise, and a personal video of their altar process is also included.

Student Gallery

Ofrendas Honoring Family Members – La Familia

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Neyva Sandoval – Honoring Great Grandmother Señora Justina Rivera

Altar Image: Great Grandmother Sra. Justina Rivera

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Brittany Burciaga – Honoring Great Grandfather Alejandro Medina Suade “buelo-buelo”

Altar Image: “Buelo-Buelo”

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Elizabeth Ramirez – Honoring Grandmother Enriqueta Flores Ramirez

Altar Image: Grandmother Enriqueta Flores Ramirez

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Wendy Gamas – Honoring Grandmother Maria Gamas & Mom Martha Gamas

Altar Image: Grandmother Maria Gamas & Mom Martha Gamas

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Yolanda Alvarado – Honoring Grandparents + Family

Altar Image: Grandparents + Family

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Morelia Lemus – Honoring Grandfather Ignacio Ramirez

Altar Image: Grandfather Ignacio Ramirez

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Jacqueline Arevalo – Honoring Grandfather Alfonzo “Tata” Vasquez Alvarez

Altar Image: Grandfather “Tata” Vasquez Alvarez

https://youtube.com/watch?v=cMKnxH6e-Ak

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Dawn Martir – Honoring Parents Mother Luzmaria Estrada Martinez & Father Rufino Martinez, Jr.

Altar Image: Mother Luzmaria Estrada Martinez & Father Rufino Martinez, Jr.

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Leslie Villavicencio – Honoring Uncle “Tio Mando” Armando Garcia

Altar Image: “Tio Mando”

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Ariel Lopez – Honoring Brother Isaiah Angel Lopez

Altar Image: Brother Isaiah Angel Lopez

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Catherine Mora-Viscarra – Honoring Cousin Mario Mora

Altar Image: Cousin Mario Mora

Homage to Cultural Icons

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Aaron Rodriguez – Honoring Jose Guadalupe Posada

Altar Image: Jose Guadalupe Posada

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Minerva Aguilar – Honoring Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

Altar Image: Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

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Gerardo Rodriguez – Honoring Roberto Gomez Bolaños “Chespirito”

Altar Image: Roberto Gomez Bolaños “Chespirito”

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Alina Gonzales – Honoring Michele Serros

Altar Image: Michele Serros

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Thank you!

TEST

Image Source: Internet search 2020 for educational purposes.

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