Ingrid Engelhardt, Growth and Structure of Cities, BMC ’22

This image spoke to me because it emphasized the importance of tradition and continuing it even when far away from home. These ofrendas are common in México during Dia De Los Muertos. However, this is not a custom done in the United States. By creating these ofrendas and sharing them with the community, people can get a sense of nostalgia from looking at them. This plays into what we have discussed in class about nostalgia products. While the ofrenda is not a product, it does produce a feeling of nostalgia and remembrance of Mexico. This creates a space where people can feel like they belong and have their own community. The ofrenda creates nostalgia for the celebration that migrants remember in Mexico. By creating the ofrenda and other aspects of Dia de Los Muertos here in Philadelphia, migrants can still feel connected to their roots while they are in Philadelphia. These kinds of spaces are so important, as they help toward building community and being a space of both collaboration and remembrance.

Something Professor Montes also shared with the class was that this ofrenda was built by
the community for this event. This plays into what we have talked about in class in terms of the
importance to seek and gain community. This ofrenda is an example of how migrants have
formed a community and continued to engage in traditions with one another. This community is incredibly important to have as it is a place that offers support and help, especially because
migration can be hard. By having a community that you can do things with, like building
ofrendas, you can feel a sense of belonging and that you are not alone. The ofrenda is a visual
representation of community building and connection. Making this image a reminder of the
Mexican community within South Philadelphia.

For me, seeing the ofrenda in person was a chance to see an incredibly beautiful and meaningful piece that was created by and for the community. It showcased a creative outlet to
engage with Dia de Los Muertos with tons of details that can only be seen when examining the
ofrenda for an extended period. For me, it was also clearly a piece that was collaborated on by
many people, making it an ofrenda by the whole community. This was a visual representation of
community and resistance in South Philly. The field trip was a special experience that was a chance to see and be a part of such an important holiday within the Mexican community. I am
really happy I got to go and was able to see the ofrenda that the community made