Photos by AURELIO JOSE BARRERA
A graveyard is probably the last place many people would want to visit. But, in addition to being the final resting place for thousands, the old cemeteries of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles reflect more than a century of the city’s culture, diversity and history.
Cemeteries for Catholics, Chinese, Jews and Serbians are located within blocks of each other along Eastern Avenue in East Los Angeles. In neighboring Boyle Heights, joggers circle the fitness path around Evergreen Cemetery while traffic on the 5 Freeway roars past the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
Photographer Aurelio Jose Barrera recently rediscovered the old graveyards, photographing them as he rides by. Says Barrera:“Sometimes while riding by bike, I take a quick detour through the cemeteries and enjoy their tranquility. My four-year-old grandson likes to walk through the beautiful gravestones asking me to read the names. We look at the Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese and Cyrillic engraved words wondering what they say. I use those trips to talk to him about all the different countries people who have lived here before us came from and their traditions.”
- More Boyle Heights stories
- More East Los Angeles stories
- Got a story, tip, question or photo to share? Submit it here
The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!
Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.