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Participants in upcoming CLL workshops can learn about the significance of shrines and sugar skulls to El Día de los Muertos. (CLL photo)


El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a 4,000 year old mixture of Catholic and Mesoamerican tradition that celebrates the spirit and honors the memory of those who have passed.

SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) offers two one-meeting workshops to help discover the visual, cultural and spiritual journey that leads up to Día de los Muertos, plus a free, public event to which the entire community is invited.

“We hope the community will join the CLL in celebrating Santa Barbara’s diverse culture and increasing interest nationwide in Día de los Muertos traditions,” said Andy Harper, CLL executive director. “With a variety of cooking, language and arts classes we hope to enhance students’ experience and appreciation of cultural diversity through a variety of cooking, language and art classes.”

The CLL will host a free Día de los Muertos celebration Saturday, Oct. 24 from 12–4 p.m. at SBCC CLL Schott Campus at 310 West Padre Street in Santa Barbara.

Guests will have the opportunity to engage in crafts such as creating a community altar, face painting, flower making and decorating sugar skulls. The event will also include a special presentation on the history and tradition of Día de los Muertos.

There will be food demonstrations to experience the unique flavor of Mesoamerica firsthand and taco trucks.

The CLL also has two upcoming Día de los Muertos themed workshops scheduled:

» Make Your Own Sugar Skulls, Oct. 22, 1–4 p.m.: ?Calaveras de azucar are a playful symbol of Día de los Muertos. In this class, students will learn how to make their own with easy to follow master techniques that are required to create these magical skulls. The cost is $37.

» Shrine of a Lifetime: Create a Mexican Folk Art Nicho, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. to noon.: In this class, students will work with mixed media such as wood, paper, metal, clay and random objects to create a Mexican shrine, ornicho, typically associated with Day of the Dead celebrations. The cost is $24 plus an additional $15 for materials.

Register for classes by visiting

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Center for Lifelong Learning.

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