Why the community is shouldering responsibility

AUSTIN (KXAN) โ€“ Joaquin Rodriguez just recently discovered where his father is buried in Austin.

His father is laid to rest at San Jose I Cemetery in East Austin, along with other Rodriguez relatives.

“If you’re low-income and need a place to house your relatives … this is the place to go,” Rodriguez said.

Joaquin Rodriguez leads the cleanup of the San Jose I Cemetery. (KXAN Photo/Jake Sykes).

That’s why a few years ago, he founded San Jose Montopolis Cemetery Association. it is community group Dedicated to maintaining and preserving Cemetery of San Jose I and II.

It has a long history and has been around since the early 1900’s. This is where Latino and Native families come to bury their loved ones.

The February 2023 winter storm left a trail of debris, and even the tombstone was slightly damaged. Rodriguez and other community members spent the day cleaning up Saturday.

“Throughout the whole process of discovering my roots, I just saw a need, I just saw the need for a larger initiative to happen than just individuals coming here to take care of a little piece of land,” Rodriguez said .

Over the years, the land has been somewhat neglected, with some headstones completely covered in overgrown bushes and limbs.

Rodriguez hopes he and others can change that. He said he plans to organize community cleanups at the cemetery each spring and fall.The team released its update facebook page and others social media account.

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