Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Outside of Belize City

Outside of Belize City, Belize ~ January 31, 2005

I hope this is one of the worst series of photos you will find on Taphophile Tragics, a new photo meme from "Down Under," (no pun intended, and I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this). I'm sorry about the poor quality of these photos; they are all I have of this interesting above-ground cemetery.

On January 31, 2005, Lee and I left Belize City on our way inland to tour the country, and this unusual cemetery caught me by surprise. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, I think you can read the lettering in the wrought-iron arch. It says, "Sisters of Mercy." Even though Belize is a Central American country, its official language is English, as it was once the colony of British Honduras. All of the photos below were taken on our way back to the city on February 6th.

Many people commute long distances by bicycle along the Great Western Highway, as cars are out of the budget for a large number of Belizean citizens.

In the background you can see some of the houses belonging to the poor of Belize. It emphasizes something I have wondered about in a number of the cemeteries I've visited. You always see the contrast between the beautifully-carved stones of the wealthy and the modest, if any, stones of the poorer people. In some old new England cemeteries in particular I have often wondered how anyone was able to afford the stones, especially as I began to learn about the circumstances of the people who I knew were buried beneath them.

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hamilton said...

I have often wondered, too, how some of these poorer people managed to afford a stone - I'm sure it wasn't something they saved for (as funeral homes now suggest you do!)

Lee Spangler said...

Thanks for posting this cemetery and your associated thoughts. I suppose lots of family members pitch together their meager resources to put up a stone. That is the tradition and it seems essential for most to honor their deceased loved ones come h... or high water!

Julie said...

So good to see cemeteries from other world cultures, Sheryl.

I know in my family, I go looking for memorials, and know that my ancestors will be in unmarked graves. It is only my grandparents line that have anything named. Not that they were not loved and honoured just as much, just that the meagre resources available were allocated to the living.

You point out the houses of the poor in the background, which I had already noticed. It strikes me that some of the grave markers would have cost more to erect than these houses. Which is a sobering thought.

Thanks for your contribution to Taphophile Tragics. I love how some of your community have stored up images from journeys to far-flunk places. They are all so fascinating to read.

Until next week, I remain ...