Mausoleums are bought for an entire family most of the time. Each family member has a designated niche as his resting place. The different vaults are marked with a plaque or tombstone.
Asking around about the white color of the cemetery and the why most crypts are above ground, nobody has a definite answer.
JM Magaña, La Antigua Guatemala’s second conservator and the pen behind the architecture column, pointed out that until 1976 La Antigua Guatemala was painted all white too. At the time the cemetery was created in the 1800s, there were a couple waves of plagues and thus every thing was white-washed with live limestone to disinfect and maintain the town virus free. This coincided with the introduction of coffee in 1875 (more or less) and thus an abundance of wealth which provided the necessary fund to build all those mausoleums. There was a massive earthquake that hit Guatemala in 1976 and destroyed a great deal of buildings and houses in Guatemala. In fact, it is said that the 1976 earthquake changed forever the look and feel of Guatemala. La Antigua Guatemala was not saved and thus reconstruction began after the quake and with it, the color lime-stone paint came. This change in color did not reach the cemetery.
So far this is the best I can do.
Volcán de Fuego Eruption side note: Fire Volcano erupted into a gorgeous nature show of light and lava three days ago. I hadn’t said anything because I did not know since I’ve been in bed sick with the flu for the past week. Nonetheless, if you follow this link to MyBootsnMe, you can see photos and description of this awesome show that nature gave us. I even got some photos from one of the readers of LAGDP. Is it safe to come to La Antigua Guatemala? You bet. Volcán de Fuego is still far enough from La Antigua Guatemala.
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