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Photos by Antonio Mejias-Rentas

Residents of Ramona Gardens participated in the annual Día de los Muertos celebration held on Saturday, which included a procession for peace and against violence in the neighborhood.

Dozens of men, women and children marched with signs evoking good will. This year, they carried their signs outside of the actual residential complex and onto the grounds of nearby Hazard Park, then back to Ramona Gardens.

The marchers were led by members of Danza Mexica Cuahtemoc, an Aztec dance collective with ties to Ramona Gardens dedicated to promoting social causes. Various residents of the housing complex danced with them in a ceremony that followed the procession, dedicated to the departed. Particular emphasis was placed on the 43 dissapeared students in the the state of Guerrero, Mexico, who are presumed dead.

The departed were also commemorated at altars placed in the area near the community bungalows, which were decorated by flowers and calaveras created by members of the Ramona Gardens seniors club.

Organized by the Residents Advisory Council, Soledad Enrichment Action (SEA) and other community members, the Ramona Gardens Día de los Muertos celebration began in 2008 in response to the killing by police of a resident.

In the past, the peace march has stopped at the spots of various other fatal incidents, holding a special ceremony with the family of the departed. Organizers were thankful there were no such incidents reported this year at the housing complex.

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