Graveyard of Bajos de Chila, San Pedro Mixtepec, Oaxaca

I first visited Chila's graveyard in November 2015. The graveyard is located on a couple of hills that overlook the town of Chila and provide a nice view of the sea. Walking up the hill I began to think I was walking up a pyramid or a fortified hill. And I probably was.

It was Day of the Dead when I went. Most graves were not decorated for the holiday. Of those that were, many had plastic flowers instead of the traditional marigolds.

Photos of Chila's Graveyard

Some of the graves had little rooms on top of them for candles or to put in a saint and a few had paintings.

  • Chila Graveyard
  • Chila Graveyard
  • Chila Graveyard
  • Chila Graveyard

Medical plants growing in the Graveyard

I went with a Mexican friend to the graveyard and he started pointing out the trees with medicinal properties. This was all new to me; either the locals planted them there or, and more likely; the locals removed the weeds and useless plants and allowed the medicinal trees to grow. Mexico never ceases to amaze me.

The Palo Mulato (B. gummifera, Pistacia simaruba) has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat gout.

Palo Mulato

The Macuil (tabebuia rosea) can be used to treat intestinal parasites, constipation, malaria and more. It is the national tree of El Salvador.

Macuil Tree