Sunday, 15 February 2009

All Souls in San Juan de Lurigancho

Lima - 2 November 2008 – San Juan de Lurigancho, in the north east of Lima, is the most densely populated district of Lima and of Peru with more than 1 million inhabitants living on 131 square kilometers. All Souls and All Saints are celebrated extensively in Peru. Most Peruvians visit cemeteries to spend these days with their deceased relatives.

There is a big difference between the official cemeteries and the illegal ones. In the inofficial ones you can drink beer, eat, make music etc. Bands of musicians go around and play on request the favorite songs of the deceased person. In the offical ones it´s a bit more quiet. At the moment El Sauce is being transformed into an official cemetery. Three brothers were sitting near the graves of their parents drinking beer and commemorating. They told that here it was rather quiet, in the villages in the Andes people would bring food and everybody would share.

In the 20-ies the first persons were buried at El Sauce, when this area was part of a hacienda of the Nicolini family. These were workers of the hacienda. The growing immigration of people of the countryside to Lima, not only resulted in a dense population in San Juan de Lurigancho, but as well to a very populated cemetery. From a far you can see the signs, as many little shops are located in the vicinity, catering to the visitors.

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