On Wednesday night, after visiting the two panteons in Xoxocotlan, we made it to the Panteon General in Oaxaca. It was about 11:30, and we were able to move freely about the grounds. A concrete monument, it was a stark contrast from the mud and smaller scale of the cemeteries outside of the big city. The mausoleum was among the most impressive contrasts because we had not seen anything of this sort at the other two places. This made me wonder about whether people preferred burial or cremation. I knew I would have a lot of questions for my Spanish teacher and others.
After asking, I learned that most people prefer burial because it is more affordable up front. Cremation is twice as expensive as burial. Also, once people get a burial plot, they put multiple family members in the one plot. Crowding in smaller cemeteries is a problem. One woman I spoke with this week explained that in her small town in order to get to her grandfather’s grave, she has to walk over several others.
This complex seemed simpler in some ways that what we had just witnessed in the town.