EL MONTE – More than 400 families drove through a tunnel of Christmas lights, enjoyed performances by Folklorico dancers, received an authentic tamale dinner and treats from Santa, including pan dulce, during El Monte Union High School District’s third annual Posada holiday event on Dec. 4.
Blending Mexican and American traditions, the District’s Posada offered parents and students the opportunity to gather safely for a night of good food and fun. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Posada was transformed by staff and parent volunteers into a drive-thru parade.
Cars lined up outside the District office before touring through a Christmas light tunnel, popping open trunks to receive a tamale, rice and bean dinner, treats from Santa, EMUHSD mugs and other swag, as well as pan dulce for the whole family.
Families registered for the event in November; those who could not participate received contactless delivery of meals, gifts and treats on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Edith Echeverria, Director of Assessment, Accountability and Family Engagement, leads the team that staged the annual event.
“In the past, the annual Posada featured pictures with Santa, student performances and piñatas, and was a great way for us to bring our community together,” Echeverria said. “It was important to our District to continue this tradition, doing it in the safest way possible, because we could all use some holiday cheer this year.”
Staff members and volunteers from across the District came together to make the Posada event possible. EMUHSD parents Cynthia Arredondo, Mountain View High School and Maria Celedon, El Monte High School, said hosting this event was important, especially after such a challenging year.
“It is nice to see our District providing our community with the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in the middle of this pandemic,” Celedon said. “I also think it is important to emphasize that the District has made a great effort to ensure that this event is not only beautiful, but also safe.”
EMUHSD Superintendent Edward Zuniga said the Posada event is just one way that the District reminds community members that they are appreciated and supported.
“This has been a year unlike any other, and while the number one goal of El Monte Union High School District has been the health and safety of our community, we also want to remind our students and families that we are here for them,” Zuniga said. “Thank you to all of our staff, volunteers and everyone who made this year’s Posada event possible. Our District is grateful for your hard work and commitment to our students.”
EMUHSD_120420_POSADA1: Folklorico dancers performed for families during the El Monte Union High School District’s third annual Posada celebration on Friday, Dec. 4 on a well-lit stage in the District Office’s parking lot.
EMUHSD_120420_POSADA2: El Monte Union High School District Superintendent Edward A. Zuniga and Santa Claus wish families happy holidays during the third annual Posada celebration on Friday, Dec. 4.
EMUHSD_120420_POSADA3: El Monte Union High School District staff and volunteers set up a tunnel of lights for families to enjoy during the District’s the third annual Posada event and drive-thru on Friday, Dec. 4.