In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Los Angeles Zoo and Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts & Education have partnered to celebrate the tradition of co-creating a special Beloved Pets Ofrenda in observance of Día de los Muertos. For its second year, the Beloved Pets Ofrenda is designed to honor the memory of cherished animal companions that have passed away, and all zoo guests are welcome to come and print or draw photos of their pets and place their images and mementos on the ofrenda, located at the Zoo’s Front Entry Plaza starting through Nov. 2.
“The zoo feels that National Hispanic Heritage Month is a critically important moment to highlight the culture and art of our Hispanic, Latino and Latinx communities,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO and zoo director, Los Angeles Zoo. By co-creating this ofrenda with an institution like Plaza de la Raza, the guests will have the unique opportunity to not only express their empathy for all living things, but also learn more about the rich and deep culture of Hispanic heritage – a culture closely tied to the history of Los Angeles.”
An ofrenda, which means “offering” in Spanish, is an altar created to honor loved ones who have passed away. These ceremonial displays are a colorful mix of symbols, pictures, flowers, memorabilia, food, beverages and other meaningful items, and all are an essential part of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, which Hispanic, Latino and Latinx cultures observe on Nov. 1 and 2.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, resident folklorist artist America MadrigalHerrera led a team of Plaza de la Raza parents and students in co-creating the altar at the L.A. Zoo along with Zoo Manager of Community Programs Coral Barreiro and Zoo Learning & Engagement staff. The Beloved Pets Ofrenda is a special way to celebrate both Hispanic heritage as well as honor the connection between humans and animals.
Zoo Learning and Engagement staff will be on-site to help co-create the ofrenda with guests every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at Sea Life Cliffs. The ofrenda will be up and on display through the end of Día de los Muertos on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura and Golden State freeways. Admission is $22 for adults and $17 for children ages 2-12. For information, call (323)644-4200 or visit lazoo.org.
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