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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Students to Remember Classmate with Memorials

Classmates and friends of Patricia Guardado, the UALR student who was found murdered last year, are commemorating the anniversary of her death.

Members of UALR’s chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honor society, are collaborating with Guardado’s classmates, many of whom are enrolled in Dr. Erin Finzer’s service learning seminar on violence in Latin American literature, to remember her life this month.

Students set up an altar in Guardado’s honor Oct. 5, and will maintain it through Nov. 3 in observance of the Mexican Day of the Dead. The altar is located on the second floor of the Donaghey Student Center to allow students and community members the opportunity to celebrate Guardado’s life.

On display at the altar is a handmade book crafted and written by Guardado’s classmates last fall. Modeled on the artists’ books of the Latin American cartonera movement, the book also addresses issues of safety within the UALR community, as well as violence against women as a global epidemic.

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, students will host a candlelight vigil in the mall area in front of UALR’s Donaghey Student Center.

The event is open to the public and will commemorate the life of Guardado and other women who have been victims of violence.

At both events, donations are being accepted in Guardado’s memory for Safe Places, a Little Rock nonprofit that provides services to individuals and families hurt by sexual and family violence and abuse, human trafficking, homicide, and other violent crimes.

Students in Finzer’s seminar are volunteering for Safe Places as part of their service-learning requirement in various capacities, including leading support groups for victims and prevention education in Spanish.

On Oct. 12, 2011, Guardado’s car was found in a private parking lot across the street from the UALR campus. She didn’t show up for class that day, and family members later reported her missing. Her body was found in a pond near Sweet Home four days later on Oct. 16.

On the day she went missing, Guardado was expected to show up for Finzer’s Latin American Cultures class, which was studying the femicides on the US-Mexico border and Guatemala.

For more information, contact Erin Finzer at 501.569.3272.