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School district honors those lost including late super Trujillo


As you walk through the front doors of Las Cruces Public Schools’ newly renamed Dr. Karen M. Trujillo Administration Complex, 505 S. Main St., you will find a dazzling display of colors used to decorate an ofrenda paying homage to LCPS staff members who have passed away in 2021.

An ofrenda (“offering”) or altares, is a traditional altar that is part of the Dia de los Muertos that is celebrated Nov. 1-2 in Mexico and the Southwest in honor of the lives of loved ones who have died.

An ofrenda traditionally includes pictures of the departed loved ones, as well as some of the things they enjoyed on Earth, such as food and flowers, along with personal items.

The LCPS Bilingual Education, Translation, Interpretation and Community Outreach (BETICO) team decorated the school district’s ofrenda. BETCO helps many LCPS families receive the services they need through linguistically and culturally comprehensive outreach, LCPS said.

The ofrenda at LCPS displays photos and names of several staff members who have died recently due to Covid-19 complications, the school district said, including Gloria Garza, Damacio Bernal, Sylvia Garcia, Christopher Sarmiento, Jose Reyes, Beatrice Ramirez and Elizabeth Placencio. Some family members provided photos of loved ones for the ofrenda.

At the very top of the ofrenda is a photo honoring the life and leadership of Karen M. Trujillo, Ph.D., who was the LCPS superintendent until her death last February.

“It was important for us to take the opportunity to have the time to reflect, remember and honor our loved ones,” said LCPS Family and Community Outreach Coordinator for Bilingual Education Adriana Ontiveros. “We believe that we must always call upon our ancestors, our elders, our friends and family to guide us and protect us so we may continue to thrive despite the difficult times. We wanted to showcase that through the altar and encourage our schools to do the same and through such work create a stronger sense community that is so needed during this time,” Ontiveros added.

LCPS families as well as community members are welcome to visit the ofrenda and pay their respects to remember the lives within the district that were lost.

The LCPS administrative complex is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Las Cruces Public Schools