Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers' Day at the Central Cemetery

Ribbons for mothers hang on a wall near the cemetery's entrance. 
A cemetery visitor leaves flowers at the memorial to the four Bodmer girls, who died around the turn of the century.  
A flower and other gifts for the Bodmer girls. 
Flower stalls near the cemetery. Mother's day is a big day for them - or should be. 
This woman, who sells flowers with her son inside the cemetery gates, told me that they were the cemetery's first vendors. 
Another vendor, who has sold on the sidewalk for 45 years near the English Cemetery. She can't earn more than a few thousands pesos a day, but is always cheerful. 
Cecilia and her daughter Yolanda have vended flowers near the cemetery for 50 years. They said that on an average day they can sell 25,000 pesos in flowers - but they spend half of that buying the flowers, more on renting the storage space and another couple thousand pesos on bus fare to and from Soacha, where they live. 
Cecilia said that decades ago when the cemetery was larger they "sold all the flowers they could cut." Today was a disappointment for her, with only 30,000 pesos of income. "We didn't make anything," she said.

Cecilia pays 100,000 pesos per month to store her flowers behind the cemetery, between the headstone carvers' shops. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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