Guests are invited to honor pets that have passed away with photos or drawings at the Ofrenda starting Sept. 30, 2023
The Los Angeles Zoo and Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts & Education are announcing the third year of the Beloved Pets Ofrenda in observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de los Muertos.
The ofrenda is designed to honor the memory of cherished animal companions that have passed away. All Zoo guests are welcome to print photos or draw pictures of their pets and place their images and mementos on the ofrenda – located at the Zoo’s Front Entrance Plaza near Sea Life Cliffs starting Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 through Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. Each weekend, Zoo staff will be on-site to print and assist guests with their photos.
“This community partnership between the Zoo and Plaza de la Raza is one near and dear to my heart as it offers Angelenos, especially our Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx communities, a space to honor their pets and the animals who made a deep impact on their lives,” said Coral Barreiro, Community Programs Manager, Los Angeles Zoo. “This ofrenda continues to offer our guests with the opportunity to learn about the Hispanic heritage of Los Angeles and create a deeper empathy for all living creatures.”
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. Community partnerships with organizations like Plaza de la Raza create amazing opportunities to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of our City.
“Over the last three years, we have been honored to work alongside the L.A. Zoo staff to share the memories of our beloved pets,” said Maria Jimenez Torres, Executive Director, Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts & Education. “Our Center’s long tradition of celebrating Día de los Muertos at Plaza de la Raza has allowed us to expand our reach and share this important living tradition of remembrance and festivity with more families in Los Angeles. We are happy to continue this important tradition with the L.A. Zoo. Pets and the companionship they give us are central to many families. Dedicating an altar to honor their lives and embrace the circle of life brings healing and a joyful experience for kids. It is a way for families to come together across generations and celebrate the furry friends that have passed. Viva Vida! Viva Día de los Muertos!”
L.A. Zoo Learning & Engagement staff will be on-site to help co-create the ofrenda with guests every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Zoo’s Front Entrance Plaza near Sea Life Cliffs. The ofrenda will be up and on display through the end of Día de los Muertos on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. Guests can also bring their own printed photos and place them on the ofrenda, Monday through Friday, through Nov. 2, 2023.