A little further on from Metro Hidalgo, heading towards San Cosme, is a grand old church and an even grander old cemetery. In the UK the two always go together. Here no so often. What makes this cemetery so grand are the residents. Benito Juarez, the sole indigenous president in Mexico’s history, being the most famous. And the biggest. With flowers and giant wreaths replaced regularly. Indeed, I’ll go so far to say that a man (or woman) isn’t really amongst the good and great of Mexico unless they have their spot in this cemetery. Either reserved for future use or as current occupant.
I suspect that along with the good and the great there are also, here and there, the not so good and great, but sufficiently rich. In fact, the only possible way I can think of for a Mexican to elevate his status even higher than by having a stone in this yard with his or her name on, is to have a metro station named after them. I saw a fair few names in here which match up to metro stations.
In case you are wondering, there are plenty of vacancies for heroes of the nation to stake their claim to a tomb or stone of some description. You can see all the empty plaques awaiting lucky owners in one of the photos below. Could I qualify? Well I did rescue a pair of young ladies from the sea a few years ago. Risked my life so I did. I’m not sure that claim will work out for me though, even if I could find them again to corroborate my story. They were pretty…well, pretty. Ulterior motives may be suspected. Tsk. Perhaps I can find a quiet spot somewhere in Highgate instead.
I noticed another few tombs. Juan Zavala…where had I heard his name before? Juan Zavala, Juan Zavala….it came to me, eventually. Don Juan Zavala! Hero of the war against the Spanish! And he’s buried here? Well I never! I know…you don’t need to tell me. But I liked the link. I thought it an entertaining read too. I also noticed the number of RIP’s on grave stones. I confess my utter ignorance here. That, surely, is so very English. I mean in Spanish, it would be DEP surely? Please, someone explain! There are more photos to view on Flickr anyway – just click here.