Monday, November 12, 2012

After the Day of the Dead

We arrived in Dolores, El Salvador late on November 3rd. The morning of the 4th we walked to the cemetery to visit Elmer's Abuela Rosa's grave . She passed the year before and he hadn't been able to come back. But the cemetery is always the first place he goes when the sun comes up.

The town cemetery is always colorful, but visiting just after el Dia de los Muertos gives another level of color.

 There really are few dates and many faded names on the graves. This one had holes falling through the tomb. Slightly fearful of what might be found.
 Elmer's sister died over 20 years ago in a car accident. During the war, but unrelated to the fighting. Above is her grave spot, that was "remodeled" in the last year to hopefully avoid things like the photo above happening.
 There is a type of tree, I don't know names, whose branches were used in the old days to mark the spot of graves. The branches were broken off and placed into the ground. There a new tree would grow from the branches. Above is one those trees. Elmer said as a child this tree had human bones coming out of it from the roots of the tree bring out the buried. 

 Mama Rosa
This last picture is the most meaningful to me. On our last trip to El Salvador, Elmer and I had visited the cemetery and came across the man who was digging this grave. He was a friend of Elmer's dad and was at least 80 years old. He was digging the grave for himself. It was one of the most interesting and unique things that I had ever witnessed. At the time I ask the man if I could take his picture, which I did. And sadly, lost all photos on that camera the next day. But he stood proudly next to his final resting spot, while he was surely not resting as he dug 6 feet under. Three weeks before we returned back to Dolores, he died and was buried here in this spot. I cannot even begin to imagine the thought of literally digging my own grave.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing photos, Holly!! I understand how very significant it is to honor and pay respect to those that have passed in certain Latin American cultures, and the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Yes, the last picture is quite poignant and striking! There is a sense of irony and great humility, as well. Great story, thanks!!!! Kelley