Monday, October 24, 2011

Cementerio General, Cuidad de Guatemala; General Cemetery, Guatemala City

A most mysterious historical space in the Halloween strange city of Guatemala (called "Guate" by the bus drivers from the outlying areas), at least from the perspective of a north american anglo saxon still in novice stage being in this peculiar spell of black green magic on the tropical crust. Nothing out of the ordinary for a "Chapin" (nickname for a native Guatemalan). The General Cemetery is alongside an awe inspiring and very deep canyon, at the base of which is the dump and landfill for the city of Guatemala, a city of 3 million inhabitants. The sides of the canyon are coated with XXX lush vegetation, trees and trash, now being the end of any mold's fantasy rainy season in these tropics. The trash heaved down the ravines by cemetery workers and gravity giving it a landslide look. With a little lack of attention a rummed up pedestrian could drop fast hundreds of feet to the base of the canyon into the active landfill or streams of  black sewage, and if that wouldn't be grimy enough, under the hungry attention of thousands of really creepy black vultures circling above when not scavenging below. The vultures' other activities are acting out Edgar Poe book illustrations, shedding feathers, defecating and generally stinking up the top of tombs. Many can't resist the iconic, overdone, perch atop the christian crosses cemented over almost all the walk in style tombs. Careful, again. The tombs teeter right up to the edge of the precipice and there are no fences. The cemetery has a number of fancy tombs from olden days with surnames in addition to the majority in spanish of german, english and other tribes who occupied Guatemala along with the indigenous people, the Mayans.

Not recommended: To bring your astrologer, psychic friend, priest, pastor, imam, rabbi, tarot card reader, hairdresser or any other magician to this place late at night for visionary reading of your future. Unless of course, you're hoping not to have one.

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