Communities, Stakeholders,

The fact that the meaning of community can change, or rather what it represents, demonstrates the importance of differences within a certain “community”. I would like to point out the picture used for the blog, and the sign that is being held. It says, “Black ancestors matter”. It is relevant because in this context, one would assume that all ancestors matter. So I believe it’s important to also be aware of the shared meanings of what community stands for.

The people in public archaeology are those that our work may both benefit and affect. In this case, it would be the region around which we are doing current work on. The Hidalgo county public cemetery and its family, friends, whom this project can reach. The cemetery shares its grounds with different communities, yet perhaps all from the Hidalgo county area. Which has a high community of Hispanics, as you will find many common last names at the section of the grave site where our service learning takes place.  As a local Hispanic myself, death and life are celebrated and appreciated greatly. Although I can share a common belief with the rest of the community, not everyone may have the same belief or understanding of our engagement with this project. With that being said, we must take into account the communities changing conceptions and work for the general good of the people. Identifying the community and its shared ideals may come easy, but I can see how some issues may arise within the same community of people who may think a little differently.

Helping others find loved ones or disturbing the peace? That’s a question I wondered from the beginning but there are so many great benefits for ourselves as students and the community who we collaborate with. So who are we doing this work for? Well, for us but also for the county that has many burials of family so close to home in need of restoration. It may also be safe to say that the students, the county’s cemetery and the families are the stakeholders.  I have attended for the Spring 2018 and have not heard or seen any complaints but rather received great interests. I can agree that even though we are working together, it is crucial to understand and respect the community around us. It’s easier for me to say and understand since I have lived here my whole life, but for others who do not share the same community in the RGV, the term is still integrated into other groups with their own shared interests.

If I were an outsider looking in, I would prefer that people get to know what our community stands for without making assumptions and understanding any differences. I speak predominantly on the side of the cemetery we are marking, knowing that others may be neglected but also being aware that the boundary we are crossing, if any, is in that of our own. That is the people we should be working with in a respectable manner that benefits the project and the rest of the community. Another great part of the RGV, is that we also have diverse communities that all share this one cemetery. They can all visit family in their own way.

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0 thoughts on “Communities, Stakeholders,

  1. This is in reference to your statement “I believe it’s important to… be aware of the shared meanings of what community stands for.” You saying this is particularly important to me because, along with your example, it highlighted the obvious racial divisions that we have observed at these neighboring cemeteries throughout the course of this project. For me, learning that the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery used to be called the Pauper Cemetery and that African Americans were buried in a separate part of the cemetery was shocking. Then, I put together the context of the cemetery’s foundation with the knowledge of the cemetery and I saw the different meaning of community and treatment of death of an individual unfolded before me and that moment was impactful. “Pauper” pointed out the economic disparities and had generally negative implications of worth. And the fact that segregation followed these people to their graves says something of a distorted sense of community in the not-so-distant past.

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