Day of the Dead Celebration at Church of Scientology Honors Ancestors | New
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., November 4, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) – Members of the Los Angeles Guatemala community gathered at the Church of Scientology Los Angeles this weekend for a ceremony and Fiambre – a 500-year-old Guatemalan custom which families join in by creating a huge platter of food which is then shared by all. It takes place every year as part of the Day of the Dead celebration to remember and celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones.
This year’s Fiambre weighed 900 pounds and is considered the largest ever created outside the borders of Guatemala. It included 80 ingredients ranging from a variety of meats and seafood to vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, spices, juice, and an oil and vinegar dressing. This was followed by a traditional Guatemalan dessert made with ayote, a winter squash native to Guatemala, flavored with cinnamon and a cane sugar product called panela.
Los Angeles County is home to more than 200,000 Guatemalans, making it the largest Guatemalan community in the United States – a community that has grown by more than 25% over the past decade.
Guatemalan-American community leaders believe in the importance of promoting the traditions, values and culture of the land of their ancestors some 2,700 miles away.
With entire generations growing up with little contact with their roots, a traditional Guatemalan Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration is one way to preserve those customs and keep the culture alive. Organizers believe that sharing the community’s cultural heritage is essential to preserving children’s sense of identity and instilling unity and national pride in them.
As the families created the beautiful Fiambre, mural artist Oscar de Salcaja created a chalk painting in the parking lot of the Church of Scientology celebrating the culture of Guatemala.
“Thank you to the Church of Scientology for providing a place where the traditions of our country are kept alive,” said Walter Batres, leader of the Guatemalan Migrant Network. “We want to preserve our heritage here in the United States and pass it on to our children. This is the second year that we have been able to hold our Fiambre here in your church and we are grateful.