The Smithsonian Museum Latino is about to launch their Second Life presence. This will coincide with the Day of the Dead, a Mexican day honoring the ancestors. Astrodime is sponsoring a collaboration between Lesley University, and the Smithsonian Latino Center as part of our Scientific American/La America Cientifica year long project. This has also come out because of the hard work from the Critical Pedagogy committees and Diversity committees at Lesley University. AstroDime member sam smiley will be visiting the real world Smithsonian Museum Latino this week in D.C.
You can get to the Smithsonian Latino Project by going to: http://latino.si.edu/education/LVM.htm
Or you can join virtually by going to
To take part in the festival virtually, participants must have an avatar in
Second Life and can
join by going to:
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Latin America, particularly Mexico and
Central America, and in Latino communities in the United States to honor deceased family and friends through altars called “ofrendas” and by decorating cemeteries and individual tombstones. Offerings traditionally
include sugar skulls, marigolds, “pan de muertos” (a special Day of the Day
bread) and the material goods the deceased enjoyed while alive.
“With the growing number of Latinos in the United States, including people
of Latin American descent, it is no surprise that this holiday, traditionally celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, has become so popular
in the United States,” said Melissa Carrillo, director of New Media and
Technology at the Smithsonian Latino Center. “Illustrating this important aspect of Latino culture in a broad platform such as Second
Life will allow users from across the world an opportunity to participate in
and see firsthand, spiritual customs that have been passed on from ancient Mesoamerica.”
Highlights include a community altar in the virtual museum’s “Placita” (town
square) and a companion community altar in Virtual Native Lands, a partner site in Second Life focused on highlighting Native American culture and practices. Virtual museum resources include Smithsonian
Latino collections, a user’s guide, glossary, lesson plans and resource
links for educators. Teaching tools for teachers about key elements of the observance include the Spanish arrival, customs and
beliefs, traditional dancing and the importance of the return of spirits.