Communities And Stakeholders

The main Stakeholder in the HCPCP (Hidalgo County Pauper Cemetery Project) would be the government, in this case it would be the local government. Daniel Flores of the Hidalgo County Maintenance Department has reached out to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to formerly conduct this extensive project. The County is also providing water bottles and air conditioned restrooms powered by gas generators. DR. Sara Rowe is the main conductor of the Hidalgo County Pauper Cemetery Project. Dr. Rowe is the pioneer stakeholder for public archaeology in the Rio Grande Valley, which will shed light to community to the field of public archaeology in South Texas.

Initially in the Rio Grande Valley the communities that existed where Mexicans, later in the late 1700’s and 1800’s there was a flush of European settlers originating from France, Sweden, Germany, and Ireland, that bought a lot of land in the Rio Grande Valley, those families bought land and lived of the fat of the land by raising cattle and livestock, as well as growing maize, citrus and other various production crops as the Rio Grande Valley soil is fertile and the zone is subtropical that enables for almost any type of flora to flourish. However now in the modern days of the Valley in my opinion the Valley population that is the biggest community is Hispanics, Mexican Americans, and Mexicans, that probably make up 90% to 95% of the population in the Rio Grande Valley. Communities that include in the Hidalgo County Pauper Cemetery itself varies, I personally have seen a headstone with Swedish writing, however the majority of the of the individuals buried are Mexican, Mexican American, or Hispanic, because almost all of the epitaph’s are written in Spanish, instead of R.IP. there is E.N.D. (En Pas Descanse). Without a doubt WE are part of the communities that we are working with because, we live in the valley , we attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, furthermore in working with the HCPC we make ourselves a part of the community no matter what language one speaks or the color of skin one wears.

I do believe that we as archaeologist should not carry out investigations without studying or researching cultural affiliations, it is the community after all that we are doing the work for and it would be rude and disrespectful to exclude cultural affiliations, because it may be that within some communities there may be more than one culture present, and all cultures should be taken into account. If we choose to focus our attention on only certain communities obviously we are neglecting those that we are not studying, we should have a wide range of understanding, although at times it may not be possible to study every culture due to time constraints. However archaeologist should try their best to include as much cultures into their field of work as possible, especially the cultures that are slowly deteriorating. The power dynamics that could exist for those communities that are involved in the cemetery is the power of autonomy.


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