As in most Latin American cemeteries, bodies are buried in the traditional Western way or placed in a crypt. Within 10 years, they are disinterred and cremated. After cremation, families purchase or rent glass-fronted spaces in the cemetery walls for the ashes, affix plaques and mementos of the deceased and place flowers behind the glass door.
Each wall has hundreds of these doors, and some of the walls have expanded upward to such an extent that they resemble three- or four-story apartment blocks. As a result the cemetery is an active place, full of people passing through to visit dead relatives.
There are also huge family mausoleums, as well as sections dedicated to mine workers and their families, and common graves for soldiers killed in battle. You may even see the black-clad professional mourners who provide suitable wails and tears during burials.
On November 2, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), half the city turns out to honor their ancestors.