La Paz, La Paz, Bolivia, South America

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La Paz Cemetery

La Paz

As in many Latin American cemeteries, bodies are first buried in the Western way or are placed in a crypt. Then, within 10 years, they are disinterred and cremated. After cremation, families purchase or rent glass-fronted spaces in the cemetery walls for the ashes, they affix plaques and mementos of the deceased, and place flowers behind the glass door.

Each wall has hundreds of these doors, and some of the walls have been expanded upward to such an extent that they resemble three- or four-story apartment blocks. As a result the cemetery is an active place, full of people passing through to visit relatives and leave or water fresh flowers.

It’s possibly most interesting on November 2, the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), when half the city turns out to honor their ancestors.

Be aware that the area around the cemetery is a little unsavory. And don't come here at night.

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