Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Peralta, New Mexico, USA

The Peralta-Valencia Cemetery
About the Cemetery

Philly’s Friends

Philly's Friends is the gardening group (dedicated to St Philomena, patroness of gardeners) formed under the guidance of the parish cemetery committee. The members of this group improve the cemetery’s landscaping, and learn more about plants (especially xeric plants) and gardening. A cemetery directory is also in development.

Fall 2006

All the plants placed in the landscaping by Philly’s Friends have been thriving this year. Unfortunately, so have the weeds, so a lot of the limited time available this year was spent on maintenance. Even so, we would have lost to the weeds if it hadn't been for the outstanding work of Joe Otero and those he recruited this fall in clearing the entire current cemetery section of weeds.

One significant improvement going in this fall is a new retaining wall, shown in the picture immediately above. The materials for this wall were donated by the Home Depot Garden Center. David Sanchez and Michael Padilla, with Michael’s sons Neil and Michael, came in as volunteers to help make the wall a reality. They did beautiful work, as can be seen better in another view of the wall, below.

Behind the retaining wall, we plan to remove the existing fence, fill in the soil, and prepare a pad or platform area for use with the pavilion.

A summary of Philly's Friends' efforts in prior years (2003-2005) is available here.

Cemetery Committee

The parish Cemetery Committee is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Peralta-Valencia Cemetery, located off La Ladera Road in Valencia (see location map), and the churchyard at the Sangre de Cristo Church. The Peralta-Valencia Cemetery has an old section, a current section, and a new section where burials are currently occurring. An eleven acre section, north of the old section, is designated for future expansion and has not yet been opened for burials.

In recent years, the committee has been able to move beyond cemetery grounds maintenance to making improvements and preparing for the next phase of cemetery expansion. The biggest improvements have been the construction of the covered pavilion (below) and the addition of a water system.

In 2004, after the westernmost main row (a small piece of which is seen above) was filled, the cemetery committee moved to use two partial rows just east of the parking area in the current section. Additional rows have now been started north of the pavilion, opening a new section of the cemetery. These areas are indicated by the red arrows in the aerial photo at the bottom of this page.

Because of issues that have appeared in the previous couple of years, the Cemetery Committee revised the parish cemetery rules and procedures in May 2014. The committee issued documents identifying cemetery members' rights and responsibilities, cemetery rules, and a formal cemetery fee schedule. These documents are available here.

The parish cemetery committee is led by Joe Otero.

We are looking into the records on the Peralta-Valencia cemetery and the churchyard at the Sangre de Cristo church. These cemeteries, the Tomé cemetery, and perhaps others and have served our communities since the late eighteenth century. According to documentation on burials in our cemetery collected and edited by parishioners Oswald and Mary Ann Baca, burials began in this cemetery in 1793.

An Aerial View of the Peralta-Valencia Cemetery As Seen From The West (February 2003)
Burials in 2005 and 2006 have been in the two areas indicated by red arrows.

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Last updated March 12, 2009