Municipal Cemetery: ‘Legend there is no place left behind’ said director

For several years in Bahia, it was believed that the municipal cemetery was about to saturate and that there was little space left for new cemeteries, due to the passage of time and the demographic growth of the city. However, this notion of collapse is just a myth “left behind”.

This was explained by the director of the cemetery, Daniela Calvo, who has held this position since 2015 and has been promoting tasks that allow spaces to be reused for 6 years. This recovery plan has always been maintained, but not with the intensity of recent years. “We have not touched the Earth as there was speculation that space would end,” he added.

During the first half of this year, the owner identified 268 plots of land and 90 niches, and explained that in addition to that space there are remnants. “It’s a long process” that takes place on a daily basis like “ants work”.

Graves emptying occurs for various reasons. One of them is when quotas are not renewed. On those occasions notice is given again and again to request this burial; If it does not happen, the discharge is carried out. “We will soon publish 370 graves,” Calvo’s example, “of which little will be asked.”

Another case occurs “when the family requests the abolition of the space in the niches or the ground and chooses to cremate the bodies”, which, in these cases, is supported by 40%. “When the renewal fee expiry dates – in May and October – arrive upon receipt of the ballot, some think and choose cremation. That is when there is more action,” he explained.

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Regarding Bahia’s decisions to choose tombs, niches, or cremations, Calvo said “it’s exactly half and half” and that “there are different waves” depending on the time of year.

Maintenance work on the property also includes various improvements to the facilities. In recent years, various sectors have been restored and renovated as part of a project that is still in progress.

“The spirit of the improvements is to give the visitor, who comes with this pain, the possibility to find something not as sad as the cemetery has always been. Before, when I went in and saw the angels weeping, I felt anguish. But if we are alive and come to a place for the dead, so be this place A place of joy and encounter,” said Calvo.

Among the improvements are the complete restoration of the main access gate on Lejarraga Street, the placement of reflectors and an LED lighting system, as well as the installation of a bicycle path in front of the entire cemetery.

Calvo noted that the warehouse building and bathrooms located in the entrance strip had been reconstructed, new toilets had been fitted out in the temporary warehouse and concrete benches had been placed throughout the property – “there was nothing before”. In addition, the water system circuits have been extended on all plots and the bus station has been refurbished.

According to the director, the Tierra de Paz cooperative, which is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities, was responsible for carrying out all the work, except for the restoration of the entrance gate, the bathrooms and the crematorium, since “he explained that the work was very large and dangerous” and the outsourcing service was requested.

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The Tierra de Paz cooperative consists of 44 people who “follow me in all these innovations” to renovate the property, since before the pandemic: the benches were laid, for example, in 2019.

Then, “in the midst of a pandemic,” the parking lot was expanded and opened with Mayor Hector Gay. “Everything happened: the cemetery was closed to the general public and only daily services entered, so we were able to work comfortably without interfering with the car’s entry and exit circuit.” Meanwhile, the restoration of the front began in October of last year and lasted nearly 4 months.

Calvo explained that on special dates, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or the end of the year, this is the time when there is a greater influx of audience. For this reason, inauguration ceremonies are held for “something useful and joyful” at that time of year, seeking “that people find resting places for their loved ones in good conditions,” he concluded.

Myrtle Frost

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