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Jan 7, 2000

Houses amongst gravestones no problem on Faber’s Road

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Earlier in the newscast we saw how sometimes the dead are moved to make way for facilities for the living. But on the other end of the southside, on Faber’s Road, we met some people who don’t think it’s necessary to move the tombstones, or even the graves. They don’t have any problem living with those who have passed this way before. Janelle Chanona reports.

It looks more like a squatters’ paradise than a burial site but the “Cholera Cemetery” on Faber’s Road is home to the living as well as the dead.

Janelle Chanona

“How would you feel, if you knew your house might be built on someone else’s grave or when you woke in the morning, you had to be careful not to trip over a tombstone? The people who live near this graveyard say they aren’t bothered by it.”

Richard White, Area Resident

“It no give me no bad dreams, cause I hang on the graves, sit down on the graves. Some times I am on the grave partying.”

Area Resident

“All those little children lay down on the graves and so. They no worry about that. All that night those people through there sit down there talking, so they no worry about the grave and thing.”

People in the area call it “Cholera Cemetery” but they don’t know exactly where the name came from. One resident says when Belize City’s main cemetery, Yabra Cemetery, ran out of lots, this place became home to those who died in the 1890′s. The site was later abandoned and hurricanes and vandals have done their share in destroying most of the headstones and tombs. Fifteen years ago, Alexander Budna, built his house in the cemetery. He says he had nowhere else to go.

Alexander Budna, Area Resident

“When I came back here, it was only water and swamp. Big trees. Yes. So, I come and build a little house and I say well, I will live here. I never knew this was a graveyard. People want to live, they no mind which part they live; they just live.” (laughs)

Their parents may just want a place to live but the children in this neighborhood don’t mind where they play.

Q: “You ever come out here come play?”

Nelson Diamond Mohammad, Area Resident

“Yes mam.”

Q: “And how that, that no bother you?”

Nelson Diamond Mohammad

“No, mam.”

Q: “Why?”

Nelson Diamond Mohammad

“Cause they done dead already.”

Richard White

“I know I live in a graveyard right, live in a graveyard. But to be to the fact and thing we have to live up with it, cause it’s something we come… most youths come and born and come meet this here and I think they should die and meet this here, same way.”

Janelle Chanona for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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