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Claremont Store Celebrates Día De Los Muertos and Features Local Artists

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
An ofrenda sitting outside Rio de Ojas in Claremont, Ca.

As part of their celebration of Día de los Muertos, community members gathered at a local store in Claremont over the weekend.

Hanging outside Rio de Ojas in Claremont were papel picado and two ofrendas sitting by the walkways. Ofredas are alters and have long been a way that Mexicans have remembered and honored the memory of their ancestors.

Terri Riojas owns Rios de Ojas with her husband. "If you have a chance to create an alter for somebody that you love or someone else does it, I think that's kinda what it takes to understand what the holiday's really all about," said Riojas.

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Artist Sergio Aragon painting an alebrije outside Rio de Ojas in Claremont, Ca.

She added, "And it's very moving, it's very cathartic, and it's a wonderful opportunity to share stories and create an oral history that we don't celebrate here very much."

Also featured at the store was Sergio Aragon, who is one of the numerous locals that the store supports by selling their art. Aragon spoke of what it meant to have a local business supporting his craft. He said, "So it's not only supporting me, they know that they are supporting families that are behind the animals, or the alebrijes." Aragon and his family create hand-carved wood alebrijes, which are brightly colored folk art sculptures.

Laurena Scott was featured as well and grew up in Los Angeles. She creates handmade clay jewelry that looks like things such as empanadas, churros, and conchas. Scott said, "When people look at these things, it reminds them of family or events; it evokes emotion."

Many other Dia de los Muertos events are also taking place this week, including separate events on Nov. 6 in Riverside and San Bernardino.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.