The Space for Expatriates
Puerto Morelos is a small, sleepy, seaside town between Playa del Carmen and Cancun. This adorable beach town has some wonderful restaurants, many shops with Mexican Handcrafts, an incredibly wide, white sand beach with warm shallow water that is very safe for children or non-swimmers and a fabulous bookstore with English language new & used books, Alma Libre. The reef is just off shore, which make Puerto Morelos a great place to snorkel or find a boat for a day of fishing.
In itself, this relaxed town feels like it's off the beaten track. I am always up for adventure and to find something I haven't already seen so I decided to follow a tangle of dirt track roads into the jungle (even further off the usual beaten track).
I was hoping to find a lessor known cenote, but to my good fortune I found this beautiful, colorful, peaceful place to wander.
A place filled with flowers and shrouded in mystery...
This little cemetery lies in the jungle just out side of Puerto Morelos pueblo. To get there I followed calle 2 and twisted and explored a bit on another dirt road or two.
Cemeteries are mostly above ground in the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula. The ground in this region is hard limestone with a labyrinth of underground rivers that connect the various cenotes.
Mother nature pays her respects with flowers on many of these above ground tombs.
Others have evidence of recent visitors.
In November, cemeteries are used as a place for celebrating the Day of the Dead. The days before the festivities many families gather to clean and repair the tombs.
They prepare the cemetery for the arrival of their departed loved ones. They believe it is the one day of the year the curtain between the living and the dead is parted. It is the one night that deceased relatives may reunite in celebration with their living descendents.
Death is celebrated as a part of life, a continuance, not an end, in many of the Mayan and Catholic families of this region.
The rich, colorful tapestry of Mexican culture is beautifully represented in this small jungle cemetery. It is a place to reflect as much as it is to celebrate.
Written and photographed by:
Lisa Juliot, walked across the San Diego, Mexico border 8 years ago, with a backpack and the dream to travel Mexico and Central America. A long time blogger and travel writer, sociologist at heart and amateur photographer, she currently resides in Playa del Carmen and works as the Social Media Community Manager at BuyPlaya.