Featured in Amazing Graves – April 16th, 2009

Photographed in Xcaret Eco-Park, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
The Mexican Cemetery is an integral part of the elements of the Mexican Mayan Village, representing a tribute to the deeply-rooted fascination with death that Mexican people have experienced since pre-Hispanic times. This fascination gave birth to one of the strongest and best-known Mexican traditions: the Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead festivities.

The Bridge to Paradise is a unique structure representing the Gregorian calendar. The structure simulates a hill in the shape of a cone with seven levels representing the days of the week and 365 tombs on the outside depicting the days of the year. Finally, at the main entrance, there is a stairway with 52 steps that represent the weeks of the year.

This Mexican cemetery clearly depicts the mixture of cultures that characterizes the country: pre-Hispanic Mexican civilizations did not have cemeteries as we know them today; these came with the Colonial Period. However, the Mexican pre-Hispanic element is found in the cemetery`s shape: a spiraling marine shell, reminding us that the Mexican ancestors used the shell as a horn to communicate with the gods through the wind, represented by their breath.


mexico, carmen, colorful, graves, cemetery, del, xcaret, playa

I’m married to a wonderful man for over 35 years. I have one daughter and one grandson. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. Photography is my passion as is travelling. I do both whenever I can.

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  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekover 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t have guessed this was a cemetary. Good description.
    Thanks, Teresa.

  • Thanks Stan. It’s an amazing cemetery, very unique and I will post a couple of graves later on. Every single grave is different and there is 365 of them. Incredible site.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Clark Thompson
    Clark Thompsonover 5 years ago

    I’ll bet this place is quite the spectacle on Dia de Muertos… fascinating!

  • Thank you Clark and you’re right, it is spectacular at night. I didn’ t see what it looks like on Dia de Muertos but it’s probably even more beautiful if that’s possible.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaover 5 years ago

    Very colorful!!

  • Thank you so much Al.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 5 years ago

    Just gorgeous for a cemetary, so much to focus on here.

  • I also have shots of individual graves that I will post later. Every single one is different. So many to explore.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • stephaniek
    stephaniekover 5 years ago

    What a great shot!! It actually looks like a fun place!!

  • Yeah, and when you think it’s a cemetery it kind of sounds weird.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • stephaniek
    stephaniekover 5 years ago

    Well I know that they celebrate death down in Mexico with “The Day of the Dead!!” A weird tribute, lol.

  • Yeah, it’s a really fascinating culture and it’s not so weird when you sit down and think about it.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Peter Stephenson
    Peter Stephensonover 5 years ago

    Hi Teresa,
    Fascinating photo of an equally fascinating culture. I found the ancient Mayan history so entirely different from anything I’d come across before. Even the Egyptians seemed almost familiar in comparison.

  • Thank you Peter. You are so right. I visited many places in Mexico and I’m always ready to go back and visit some more. This cemetery is the only one of its kind in the whole world. Every single grave is unique and representing the person who rests in it very well. I photographed at least 50 of them. There are boats, books, sport shoes, flowers, tires and hundreds other things. I have to post at least one of them so you can see what I mean. Absolutely incredible.

    – Teresa Zieba

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