Posted: Feb 26, 2013 7:25 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 10:43 PM
WESLACO - Weslaco officials are using technology and updated maps to locate once-lost graves at the city's old cemetery.
The new system helps locate graves in a matter of minutes.
"I have them listed in alphabetical order," City of Weslaco Engineering Technician Efrain Tafolla said.
Rows of tombstones now are mapped in an electronic archive.
Tafolla has spent the past six months entering the information into a database.
"Before we had done this, it would have taken you ... you would probably have to make it a full-day trip. You would have to go through every single section of the cemetery," Tafolla said.
Tafolla said he empathizes with those seeking the graves of their loved ones.
"I really do. And the reason is ... we had that same situation happen to us," he said.
"One of my older brothers passed away when he was an infant. So we tried to look for him out there at the cemetery," Tafolla said.
"We couldn't find him because of the fact that there weren't any markers or anything out there. We're still trying to locate him," he said.
"We want to make it right," Weslaco Parks Director David Arce said.
"Whether it's a little stone, a little pedestal, markers on the ground," Arce said.
Currently, narrow passageways and palm trees are the only reference points guiding visitors to loved ones' graves. Some of the graves do have stones with names on them.
"We're getting there. ... We're trying our best," Tafolla said.
"We'll keep going," he said.