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Celebrating life in the face of death

Happiness, joy, laughter – these aren’t words typically associated with death. When Día de los Muertos rolls around at the end of October, vibrant sugar skulls and elaborate face painting typically come to mind. However, this traditionally Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1-2 carries a rich depth of tradition beyond the scope of countless skull…

From fields to Farm: El Centro associate director tells story of struggle, healing and familia

Listening to the way Elvira Prieto ’96 laughs, easily and fully, you’d never guess the things she’s been through.

You’d never guess that Prieto, now a Casa Naranja Resident Fellow and Associate Director of El Centro Chicano y Latino at Stanford, grew up picking grapes in the San Joaquin Valley from the age of 6, toiling in the fields and packing sheds to provide essential income for her Mexican-American family of six. Or that she still suffers physical pain from the hard labor she did back then. Or that she, her siblings and her mother lived for years under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father who abused them physically and emotionally.

Friends remember Xavier Leyva-Quintana

On June 15 this year, Xavier Leyva-Quintana ’14 passed away in his room in Xanadu. A senior at the time, Leyva-Quintana was known for his “goofy” smile, love of football and passion for bringing people together.

“He always tried to get people together and he was never too busy to hang out,” said Nick Breitweiser ’14, a friend of Leyva-Quintana. “He helped me to connect with other people and be more social.”