Santa Ana’s Viva La Vida Festival Brings Community Together Through Tradition

Viva La Vida took place in Downtown Santa Ana this last Sunday celebrating El Dia de los Muertos. / R. Nicanor Santana / el Don

Viva La Vida took place in Downtown Santa Ana this last Sunday. / R. Nicanor Santana / el Don

By R. Nicanor Santana

The first Viva La Vida celebration brought thousands of people to the Santa Ana Train Station as it was decked with decorated altars, Aztec dancers, a classic Lowrider car show and food booths Nov. 1.

“The event seemed to be rooted with the people of our city. Viva La Vida will grow and evolve into something unique in Santa Ana,” Luis Baltazar said.

Mexican marigold flowers, candles and old photographs of deceased loved ones adorned altars paying homage to friends and family members.

“Being able to have a public setting for display with many other families provides a feeling of unity not in just religious formats but in the local community,” said Robert Diaz, who had an altar on display. “We’re very grateful to have participated in such a heartfelt event that was organized by people who are very family oriented and knew how much it meant to locals and their ancestors. “

The variety of music and performers varied from Old Mexican folk, experimental rock and pre-Colombian Aztec music accompanied by danza.

“Our event is a celebration of family, community, life, love and art and I think in the end we executed it all the way we had hoped. The turnout however exceeded any of our expectations. The event was received with so much love and support, it really blew me away,” said Jessica Arambula, who organized the altars.