Mayaguez – The Funeral Organization of Puerto Rico denounced this Tuesday the alleged lack of spaces in the municipal cemeteries in Mayagüez to be able to bury bodies.
According to Lynette Matos, a spokesperson for the organization, several people have complained that they have had to resort to private cemeteries and not having resources, to public cemeteries in other towns to bury their loved ones, because the Mayagüez cemeteries do not have space to receive the remains.
On the other hand, several families have reported that although they have their own grave, they have been informed that they will not be able to make a burial until a week later because there are no employees working in the cemetery.
“This is to prolong the pain of each Mayaguez family. Having to wait a week to be able to bury a loved one is painful, “said Javier Granell of the Fernández funeral home, in the urban area of Mayagüez.
Granell said that in his funeral home he has two families with this situation, without being able to bury because in the Sábalos cemetery they were notified that “they will not be able to celebrate burials until Thursday or Friday of next week due to lack of personnel. This is how the other colleagues from different funeral homes find themselves creating a corpse collection ”.
“It has not been reported why there are no employees available in the cemeteries,” Matos said.
Mayagüez has at least seven funeral homes and between all of them they average about 30 funeral services a week, plus those cases of other funeral homes in other towns that come to be buried in their hometown of Mayagüez.
According to Matos, the problem of lack of space is not exclusive to the Sábalos cemetery, but also to the other two municipal cemetery, the old Old Municipal Cemetery and the one in the Las Vegas sector.
“Mayagüez has two other cemeteries, but they are private and, given the economic situation faced by Puerto Rican families, they have to opt for municipal cemeteries or cremate their loved ones,” said Matos, who previously recalled that a piece of land had been allocated behind the building of the State Insurance Fund to expand the municipal cemetery.
“But then the project did not develop and now there is no space, just as they acquired land near the Las Vegas Cemetery for the construction of niches, another project that has not started either. Not having employees in times of a pandemic, this seriously affects funeral services and the lack of maintenance of cemeteries, ”lamented Matos.
He also recalled that about seven years ago public hearings were held for the construction of a new cemetery, but it would be private, without benefit to low-income families.
“We funeral parlors opposed it because there are private cemeteries with space. What is lacking in Mayagüez are public cemeteries with spaces for low-income families who urgently need to bury their friends and family in their hometown. We cannot prolong the pain of each family in this situation ”, declared Matos.