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‘Eternal tribute’: An El Salvador resident creates QR codes for tombstones

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Nov 1, 2021

In El Salvador’s capital city, one resident has found a modern way to honour those who are no longer with us – putting QR codes on tombstones instead of inscriptions.

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KEEPING THE MEMORY ALIVE WITH QR CODES

Cemetery visitors can use their phones to scan the QR code, which links them to a website with a biography of the deceased and photos from their life.

“The idea is to remember our dead as they were in life, so that they are not forgotten, to keep their memory alive,” Frederick Meza, who created the Memorial QR site, told AFP.

Meza installed the first QR code plaque in San Salvador’s General Cemetery on the grave of his aunt Ana Lilian Chacon, a librarian who died in 2016.

She “was like my second mother, she brought me closer to the world of literature to imagine stories,” said Meza, 37, a photojournalist and historian. “That’s why I am paying her this tribute.”

Frederick Meza, 37, shows plaques bearing QR codes to be placed on relatives’ graves at the General Cemetery in San Salvador, on October 30, 2021. Salvadoran photojournalist and historian Frederick Meza came up with the idea of stamping a QR code on graves that once scanned with a mobile phone refers to a web page that presents the history and photos of the deceased. Meza pretends to extend the project beyond his family circle and offers his services from 50 dollars in the framework of the celebration of the Day of the Dead on November 1.
Sthanly ESTRADA / AFP

QR CODES ARE AN ‘ETERNAL TRIBUTE TO LOVED ONES’

On the western side of the cemetery, Meza put a second QR plaque on the grave of Ana Lilian’s grandmother, Simona Chacon.

“It’s like a more eternal tribute to loved ones, which transcends borders, because anyone who has the code can see the story,” said Meza.

He charges a minimum of $50 (R767) to make a QR code and matching website and plans to use the Day of the Dead celebrations on 1 November to draw attention to his work.

“I hope that people will adapt to this new way of paying tribute, because the QR code is… everywhere,” he said. “It is already part of our daily life.”

Un salvadoreño rinde homenaje a los difuntos estampando en tumbas un código QR que, una vez escaneado con un teléfono móvil, remite a una página web con la historia y fotos de los mejores momentos del fallecido. #DiaDeMuertos #ElSalvador @AFPespanol https://t.co/HvMMdBdk1f pic.twitter.com/eY9sjAYH2l

— moises ávila roldán (@moyavila) November 1, 2021

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