Courtesy of Tabatha Stewart

On Sunday evening, the Trumbull Theater hosted a performance by the Oye Spoken Word group, who presented a series of poems and oratory that paid homage to Latine culture.  

The show was called “Para Siempre” and was a celebration of the Day of the Dead. At the heart of the show, which also featured a performance by Mariachi Lux Et Veritas de Yale, were themes of love, loss, rebirth and the enduring spirit of Día de Los Muertos. 

Andrea Chow ’25, Oye’s president, said that the event served as a way to create space for people from Mexican and Latin American communities to come together. Chow also said that it was an opportunity to create community and express resistance and creativity through spoken word poetry. 

“It is really important to deliberately create space for people from marginalized communities, especially people from the Mexican and Latin American communities, to be able to celebrate death and or not celebrate death,” Chow said. “To honor our lost loved ones and to honor death and create space for us to just be together.“ 

The evening started with a performance by the Yale undergraduate traditional Mariachi group, Mariachi Lux Et Veritas de Yale. 

After Mariachi Lux Et Veritas, the poets gave a public performance of the poetry they had written as part of Oye.

“I think it was a unique event to truly honor Mexican heritage and traditions,” said Fernando Landa SOM ’24, a member of Mariachi Lux Et Veritas. “Hopefully they will be able to have more mechanisms to try to spread the word because I think this was beautiful. I had no idea that there was this much talent in poetry and in music [at Yale]. 

Yakeleen Almazan ‘25, the founder of Mariachi Lux et Veritas de Yale, said that the show was also a nod to the legacies left behind by loved ones. 

During the event, Chow performed her piece, “A Eulogy for my Younger Self.”

The poem acknowledged important parts of Chow’s identity, incorporating motifs in Mexican spirituality and Catholicism. The piece, she said, also served as a way for her to grapple with an acute grief she has carried for years, stemming from the loss of many loved ones due to gun violence and the pandemic — issues that she said also deeply affect her community.

Diego Faria ’26 performed his piece titled “Adiós,” a personal reflection on farewells. In the piece, he portrays the process of grappling with the pain that results from having to say goodbye. According to Faria, the poem was a medium of self-introspection and growth — for in the end, he understands the importance of final acceptance, letting farewells inspire art, pain and gratitude. 

“When I first started writing the poem, I had just been going through the process of saying goodbye to someone that was very special to me. And in the process of realizing that I was afraid of saying goodbye, of the act of doing it,” Faria said. “I found that I need to start writing it.“

Alex Guzman Caceres ’26 performed her piece “La Bendita” — which touched on people experiencing poverty in Guatemala as well as her family’s sacrifices. 

Tabatha Stewart ’26 performed her piece “Locket for a Fantasmita” about lost friends over time, and Morgan Vannell ’27 performed his piece “Wooden House” about friends kept over time. 

Kayleigh Hackett ‘25, the host for the evening, commended the performers who volunteered to share their artistic expressions. 

“We had quite a few people volunteer to perform and I think they did really well,” Hackett said.

Beyond the poetry, the event “Para Siempre,” meaning “forever,” also aimed to raise funds for Mecha de Yale’s Sueño Scholarship, supporting undocumented students in Connecticut. Mecha de Yale also provided traditional food after the event for attendees.

The Nick Chapel Theatre is located in the basement of Trumbull College.

Correction, Nov. 16: This piece has been modified to include the correct name of the group Mecha de Yale.

Lukas Nel covers Art Student Life for the Arts Desk. Originally from Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa, he is a second semester junior in Davenport College studying EECS and Mathematics, who is passionate about art in all its forms.