Sunday, March 22, 2009


My Current Location: Riverside, CA -- but this blog entry is about Baja California

All up and down Mexico Highway 1 -- the only road that spans the length of Baja California -- are all manner of descansos, or roadside memorials. "Descansos" literally means "resting places," and originally they marked the place at which the pall bearers would rest as they carried the casket from church to cemetery. But today they usually mark the site of fatal accidents, just as roadside crosses (or infrequently some other religious symbols) do in the States.

The Descansos come in all sizes from a simple cross, to a small enclosure, to an elaborate building. Most are tended, at least to some degree, and some are meticulously cleaned and decorated with live flowers. Those that are little buildings typically have a small area inside that contains candles, icons, and framed photos of Jesus or Mary. The outside may or may not be painted, and some are adorned with christmas tree lights (we were never on the road after dark, so I don't know if they are lit then or not).

At the top of this page is a slide show of some of the descansos we saw. If you cannot see the slide show, please visit my Picassa Album.

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