Magazine

Apr 16, 2015

If a lease on a grave has expired or not been paid, grave cleaners will break open the crypts to remove and rebury the bodies. Any remains that have not been claimed are packed into plastic bags, labeled and stored in mass graves. Bodies that have been stored in the upper crypt are exposed to dry and sunny conditions which means they do not decompose and instead become mummified. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

It’s a dirty job: Grave cleaner in Guatemala City
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A grave cleaner wraps a mummified body in a plastic bag during exhumation work at the General Cemetery in Guatemala City JORGE DAN LOPEZ/REUTERS

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