Spanish students at University of the Cumberlands (UC) recently attended the 11th annual festival for the Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) at the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington, Kentucky. This cultural festival, organized by the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Humanities Council, Casa de la Cultura, and various Latino organizations represents the effort to bring together Latino and non-Latino communities.

UC students experienced rich, 3000-year old musical, visual, dancing, and culinary traditions used to commemorate loved ones who have passed away.

“This is an opportunity I do not believe I would have experienced outside of this class,” mentioned Jennifer Stein, a freshman business administration major from Louisville, Kentucky. “I really value the trip and what I learned from it.”

At the festival, the students explored cultural values, tasted new Latino foods, perused altars designed by the family members of deceased ancestors, and watched festival dancers perform.

"It was good to experience a different culture from our own and how they celebrated the life of loved ones,” senior James Morgan said. Morgan hails from Mount Vernon, Kentucky and is majoring in exercise and sport science. “The little kids who danced were really fun to watch because they were trying so hard. It made me smile because they were doing something that means a lot to them while also teaching other people about their heritage and culture.”

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at