Checking Out The Dead

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.


4 thoughts on “Checking Out The Dead

  1. Michel Torres says:

    Hello! I used to visit this panteón with my parents when I was a child, haven’t been there for a long time now. But I was thinking: there’s also the “Rotonda de los hombres ilustres”, which had its name changed to “de las personas ilustres” as Rosario Castellanos is buried there. It’s in the Panteón, Dolores. and it’s the other spot for ultra famous people to be buried.
    Anyway, you mention the many RIPs in there. That’s because the custom is to have it engraved in Latin, not in Spanish (requiescat in peace), which has the same initials as in Engllish.


  2. Hey Gary!
    I put this on my site instead of yours! (still new to this world). Here is my comment!
    I would spell it rationalize. Is that British?
    Gary – forgive me. I had a quick look at your site when you first wrote. I didn’t have the time to read it. I’m still very new to this whole world. I don’t do facebook. Barely answer e mails. Just checked your site out again. Very well done. I plan to come back to it within the week to watch the movies, read more etc. Things a bit hectic with Easter.
    Haven’t seen anything yet on the Samsung TL500. The Panasonic G1 has just dropped in price here. I thought a G1 with the 14-45kit lens and the pancake 20mm 1.7 for low light might work. I have also overlooked the Olympus 620 with a 12-60 2.8. Have you used either camera or know someone who has?


    • With a z? That’ll be American. So basically Canadian English is a mongrelised version of a mongreal language! How about weekends? Do you go out on the weekend, or at the weekend?

      I’m awaiting reviews of the new Fuji HS10 myself, although for a review of a MFT camera – the cheapest model available at the moment is Olympus’ E-PL1. I think that’s the model number anyway. Amazon will tell you. Which I don’t have a link to anyway! But it’s big brother the EP2 has just gotten a good review I enjoyed reading over at http://raoulpop.com/2010/04/02/camera-review-olympus-pen-e-p2-dslr/

      I’ll have to get back to you on my G1 thoughts later, as I’m pushed for time (dinner is almost ready) but if I remember rightly, great as it is, the lack of HD video is a killer for me.


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