The San Pedro cemetery is unique. It is built on top of hill offering a view of the city, the valley below and one can almost see the ocean. It has a charm of its own.
I read somewhere that the altar built on top of a grave is a Mixtec cultural tradition, I don't know if that is true though. Candles, pictures of saints, pictures of family and sometimes a glass of water are placed in these altars especially around the Day of the Dead. Domed roofs are uncommon as is the altar with columns to hold up a roof.
As the cemetery filled up, old tombstones have been removed. Tombs and vaults are built on top old tombs. As the older tombs and vaults collapse, the newer headstones sometimes list one way or another. On top of that, the area suffers from many earthquakes.
The opening of altars are being covered with bricks when there is nothing that can hold water. A new way to help prevent mosquitoes.
Way in the back of the cemetery, I found this stone with etchings of a toad on the boulder. Just another reminder that this city once was the leading city of the coastal Mixtecs prior to the Spanish conquest.
If you are interested in learning more about San Pedro Tututepec, you might want to visit Geri's Corner, A Visit to one of Mexico's Oldest Continuously Governed Cities and San Pedro Tututepec.
Photos taken by Marc Wilkinson. I, the copyright holder, hereby publish these photos under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Footnotes and Notes
- There are many cities named San Pedro in Oaxaca. Referring to San Pedro as San Pedro, Tututepec or San Pedro, Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo will make things things more clear.