CARTHAGE, Mo. — Monarch migration season is upon us, and that has high school students in Carthage honoring their late family members.

All part of their Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead Monarch Butterfly Project.

Every year, up to one billion monarch butterflies migrate from the United States to Michoacan, Mexico.

According to Hispanic culture, this represents the souls of our ancestors returning to Earth for their annual visit.

For the first time ever, students taking Spanish had the chance to decorate their own monarch and leave the name of a late loved one on its back.

Malachi Housh is honoring his father.

“I have a tattoo honoring him, I honor him before every football game, I like to keep him close to me,” said Malachi Housh, Carthage Senior.

“The butterflies represent loved ones who have passed or our future goals on the back of all of these. People cut them out and colored them and put either a loved one who passed or a goal they have,” said Logan Lee, Carthage Senior.

“It was more than just a cultural experience. I didn’t think it was going to have such a profound effect on them personally, rather than just culturally, so that was an additional benefit that I didn’t see,” said Angel Garcia, Carthage Spanish Teacher.

School officials say they hope to make this a yearly tradition.