SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — In a way to honor and connect with loved ones who have passed way, Day of the Dead celebrations are happening across the Chicago area this weekend.

Fabiola Avila with the Teotlecuilli Aztec Dance Group helped organize the Dia de Los Muertos event at Trickster Cultural Center in Schaumburg.

“It’s a way of honoring our loved ones that passed away. It’s a way to put something for them to be proud of them,” Avila said.

Against a backdrop of ofrendas adorned with pictures and offerings for the departed, there were crafts, music and dance.

“Many times, people come and they hear the beat, they feel connected because it’s in our DNA. It’s part of our culture, we have to be proud of that,” Avila said.

Joseph Podlasek is the founder and CEO of Trickster, and said the center works on multiple initiatives, including highlighting the work of Native American artists and veterans as well as drawing attention to missing and murdered indigenous women.

“Our mission is to share culture and education and create awareness, not only of the Native population but all cultures,” Podlasek said.

For this weekend, the celebrations are about honoring the connections of the past and present for generations to come.