Las flores para los muertos
(Flowers for the Dead)
The Panteón de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a public cemetery of the town of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. It is a fascinating place. There’s a section where foreigners are buried that resembles a typical American cemetery. But I found the larger area where the locals are put to rest to be of much greater interest. The cemetery contains several long rows of burial niches (nichos) which people decorate with flowers and other personal artifacts to remember and pay respect to the deceased. Many of the flowers are artificial, since, unlike real flowers, they last indefinitely. I was inspired by the contrast between the brightly colored, perfectly preserved flowers and the often deteriorating niches, adorned with crudely written text.