In Belize, the empty tomb

empty tomb

Stacked vaults

There’s an empty tomb in Belize. Many, in fact. More on that below.

In traveling, death conversation opens people up. During a stay in San Ignacio, I’m talking to people about funerals and cemeteries.

For new readers, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. We enthuse about natural burial and, in NC, USA, we make pine coffins. This here is a field trip.

Back to San Ignacio, Belize — where the cemetery, after roughly 100 years of use, is full. And not just down below. To make more space, cement vaults are stacked up three and four high above the underground burials.

I found two men rebuilding a cement wall around a family plot.

I asked, “Is there any space left here?”

empty tomb

Family space reserved

“There is,” one man replied, “but it’s pretty full.”

An empty tomb

What about the empty vaults? Some are waiting for future same-family interments. Others, people said, have been robbed. One tomb is protected by a strong locking cage.

The mayors opened a new cemetery recently across the river in twin city Santa Elena.

“If you’re from here,” though, said one man in San Ignacio, “you don’t want to be buried over there.”

empty tomb