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El Puente Garden Rises From the Dead

In most cultures, death is a somber affair, but in the Mexican tradition on one day a year, the Dia de los Muertos, the spirits of the deceased are revered with food, altars, and artwork.

El Puente, the Williamsburg-based arts and youth organization, celebrated the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2 by throwing a party in their community garden on South 2nd Street, between Roebling and Driggs Avenue, in the heart of Williamsburg’s South Side.

The party, which featured a dozen acts including dance performances by Atl Tlachinolli, El Puente Dance Ensemble and readings by the Academy for Young Writers and Urban Word, served a fund raiser for El Puente’s Espiritu Tierra Community Garden.Community members gathered amid the rows of corn stalks, roses, and vegetable plantings, guarded by a twenty-foot high skeleton scarecrow, to nosh on tamales, rice and beans, and sip hot chocolate in the garden oasis.

According to El Puente Founder Luis Garden Acosta, it took three years to remove garbage from the lot and decontaminate the toxic soil before the garden came to fruition.

“How big was the garbage?It went up to here!Two stories!” said Garden Acosta.

Councilmember Diana Reyna, stopped by to thank community members and encourage them to think about the next day, Election Day.

“This garden, this neighborhood can never be alive without the people of our neighborhood.I know because I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Reyna.

For more information, visit www.elpuente.us or call 718-387-0404.

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