Hospice of Santa Barbara honors Dia De los Muertos with Ofrenda


Hospice of Santa Barbara has created an ofrenda to give support to those in the community by welcoming staff, patients and supporters to display a photograph or special memory item in honor of a loved one on their altar.

Dia De Los Muertos, celebrated this year from October 31-November 2nd, is a traditional Latin American celebration that honors those who have died by creating colorful altars where offerings such as bread, sugar skulls, figurines, candles, incense, yellow marigolds and photos are placed. Offerings are often very personal, such as photographs of the deceased and their favorite food items, beverages and flowers.

“Hospice of Santa Barbara has included this tradition for nearly 15 years and it is meaningful and important for our patients, clients and staff,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara.

The monarch butterfly, which coincides with HSB’s butterfly logo plays a role in life and death, especially on Día De Los Muertos. For Dia de Los Muertos, the monarch butterflies are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter each fall on Nov. 1, which lands at the end of Día de Los Muertos.

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s offers the full and extensive range of its free services in Spanish: free counseling for adults and children, Patient Care Services for patients and families in which a member is facing a life-threatening illness, and support groups and education to help Spanish-speaking adults, teens and children cope with the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara now has 8 full-time Spanish-speaking employees across all our services. As a result, in 2018 we served 698 Latinos (mostly Spanish speaking), including 188 children.

The altar will be up to view in HSB’s lobby through November 2nd. For more information about any of the services, they offer visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

Hospice of Santa Barbara

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on fourteen local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

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