Cultural Identity Avatars: Macuilxochtzin, La China Poblana and La Llorona, represent the oral traditions of Latin American oral histories. They are part of the history of ancestral and indigenous communities. The cultural online programs and resources developed by The Smithsonian Latino Center through its Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) featuring Día de los Muertos represent groundbreaking efforts by the Smithsonian to promote a deeper appreciation for Latino heritage and our connections to the ancestral past. In addition to its online festival, complete with bilingual interactive online resources based on Smithsonian scholarly research, is a vehicle for the exploration of this traditional practice which has become a phenomenon of popular American culture today. The online programing is in part a collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso and Michigan State University and other key community partners across the country.
In 2014, SLC had a record breaking 319,465 visits over last year’s 199,000 visits in the online Día de los Muertos festival. This increase was attributed to Day of the Dead eProducts, distance learning activities, community outreach activities, mobile broadcasting and increased LVM social media.