October 30, 2023 | Anabel Barajas
On October 13th, 2023, La Comunidad, UCLA Health's Latina/o, Latine/x affinity group, celebrated Día de los Muertos with several activities: a grief discussion led by Karina Valderrama, LMFT, from the UCLA Staff and Faculty Counseling Center; a movie screening of Disney Pixar's Coco; and a Virtual Community Altar as part of National Hispanic, Latino & Latinx Heritage Month. This beautiful event kicked off with Karina’s discussion on grief around this time of year and provided different resources available to our community within UCLA and beyond. During her presentation, we learned about the importance of creating grief rituals that can positively impact our healing process. Following this insightful & emotional discussion with Karina, the movie screening of Coco was a beautiful culmination of the event, and during the screening, our guests enjoyed delicious treats, such as empanadas, quesadillas, croquetas, esquites, flan, champurrado y mucho más. Lastly, our Virtual Community Altar was showcased throughout this event as a way to engage in-person and virtual participants by giving them the opportunity to write a dedication (an ofrenda) to a loved one who had passed away.