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.