Corrugated City

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dying in Valparaiso: El Cementerio de Playa Ancha III

So now back up to Playa Ancha on our cemetery tour.

The cemetery is very much a "people's" cemetery. Burial plots in an open field can be purchased and then it's up to the family to decide what kind of grave should be created. And when I say 'created' I really mean it-plots are anything but exact in dimensions and the graves are a colourful mix of wackiness.

Each grave is surrounded by a white picket fence or something similar. The plot is then adorned with football flags, streamers of all colours , flowers or whatever the family deem appropriate. A white cross is the only constant. Some families build a kind awning over the grave in an attempt to recreate an old fashioned mausoleum. It's really quite an interesting concept in burial and not something I've ever seen before...

It's all a bit of a muddy mess in winter with spare concrete coffins lying around...

The only non-white cross I saw...and it's surrounded by a baby's cot...


A mausoleum for a family without a tonne of money...


A Santiago Wanderers fan (local Valpo football team)




An empty field, ripe for death development...fantastic sea-views, mature garden- what else could you want?


5 comments:

Real Chile said...

Great pic of the soccer flag next to the grave. That -along with the little shrines with flags along the highways- really captures many Chilean's obsession (what my gf would say) or loyalty (what many Chilean guys would say) to their soccer team.

Matt said...

It's loyalty...and love...

...damn girls and their belief that an obsession with a football team is an obsession :)

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Despistada said...

When I went Playa Ancha, the guide said the baby graves get 5 years as they are, all decorated with Winnie the Pooh and whathaveyou, and then they have to move the sacks of baby into the drawers.
Do not want that job.

Matt said...

huh...that's interesting...and fairly disgusting as well. i really wouldn't want that job...