Social Justice

Social status is something we have been able to observe in burials and graves that date back thousands of years.  Some ancient grave markings are monumental while others can be a simple carving on an available piece of stone if anything at all. As seen throughout history, those of higher status tend to have better or easier access to resources and materials. This status and wealth division can be seen in civilizations and communities throughout the world; even here at HCPC it is evident. When we arrived the first day you can see the clear difference in social status between HCPC and the neighboring Hillcrest Cemetery. Hillcrest Cemetery has graves with headstones of granite and marble. The lawn is green and well maintained. While out doing data collections, gardeners and maintenance workers could be seen tending to the grounds. Before our class began meeting at the cemetery the area had to be cleaned up due to overgrown vegetation. The ground is for the most part dry vegetation and dirt. The graves have been poorly kept and many had been severely damaged. Some grave markers were constructed of metal pipe while others were of wooden crosses or home-made cement. At HCPC we have found most of the graves are that of young Hispanic individuals. Many children and infants were also found to be buried at HCPC. This made me wonder, what could have been happening in the community at this time? Was there some type of illness that contributed to young children dying? Were children of lower social status able to receive adequate healthcare compared to those of higher social status? Are there infants and children from the same time period buried at Hillcrest?

It is unfortunate that HCPC had been neglected for so long but I am glad to be part of this project that is giving a piece of Hidalgo County’s history back to the community.

0 thoughts on “Social Justice

  1. I agree with with you on the clear evidence of wealth divide at the cemetery. Id be lying if i said it did not bother me seeing the green grass and automated sprinklers on the other side of the data collection site. however not much can be done on our part it is really just as part of society as you have stated in the beginning of your blog post, however i do believe our local government should at least provide a name tag or something to mark the grave of the deceased individual.

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