Social Justice and Archaeology

The Rio Grande Valley, is located on the border of Texas and Mexico. The Valley has always seemed different when compared to the rest of the United States. It is possible     I have grown from a unknowing child, to a knowledgeable women. In the eyes and in the mind of a child social injustice is unknown.  For as long as I can remember, there has always been a homeless individual at the corner of 10th street and Expressway 83. This street corner is affiliated as the exit to our Luxury mall. Though the individuals have changed that corner, which is  as always been “home” to someone. If we still see individuals “struggling” in this newer, more advanced era, how was life for the individuals we are finding in the cemetery?

I do not believe the intent of the county was to marginalize these individuals, but to provide a finally resting place that was not our of reach due to what we assume were low income individuals.  Many of the graves we are finding in the cemetery, have been left with small or no headstones. I have seen graves in the cemetery with, wooden crosses, homemade headstones consisting of concrete, as well no headstones at all.  Seeing those graves with no grave offerings or even a headstone at first made me believe, those individuals were simply forgotten by their family members. After reading our articles for the week, as well as reading my classmates responses I suddenly got reminded, we are not dealing with a “high cost cemetery”.

Provided with no information of these individuals resting in the cemetery, we know not how they lived their lives. Because we are dealing with a pauper cemetery directly located next door to a private cemetery. It is evident the pauper cemetery has been neglected through the years as soon as you step foot on the property. While the property line may be invisible, due to the fact there is nothing dividing the two cemeteries physically. You can clearly see the divide of the properties by the luscious green grass of Hillcrest Memorial Park compared to the light brown dirt the covering the majorly of the pauper cemetery.  Not only does the pauper cemetery lack green luscious grass, the grass it does have is over grown, the trees have grown untamed by humans, causing injury to few headstones and graves. This are small injustices on the grand scheme of things.

As a class along will help from the county and the local community, I believe we could solve these small injustices and other injustices that others will call on. The sheer amount of land and graves that are still waiting for our class to visit could be seen sooner if more individuals were to join us in this endeavor. This endeavor, meaning providing the graves with the most information we can gather. By finding the information in the field or searching Valley-wide at funeral homes, who allow us to search through their records that suggest the burial at the pauper cemetery


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *