Volunteers with the San Felipe Lions Club, the Consulate of Guatemala in Del Rio and others converged on the historic San Felipe Cemetery Saturday to give the grounds some much-needed sprucing up.

“We haven’t done any cleaning for some time, because of the pandemic situation as it is, so we decided it was time to do something,” Roy Muzquiz of the San Felipe Lions Club said as he watched volunteers arrive.

He offered breakfast tacos, coffee and water to each one and gave directions to areas of the cemetery where their work was needed.

Joining the San Felipe Lions Club members were the Guatemalan Consul Randy Estuardo Castillo, three members of his staff and several other community volunteers.

“As you can see, we’ve been working on it, and it’s a good thing we haven’t had that much rain, or this place would’ve been something else, big trouble. These guys were willing to help, and I’m here to furnish whatever they need,” Musquiz said.

Groups of the volunteers chatted briefly, then dispersed to various areas of the cemetery, where they sawed back the overgrown limbs of trees, trimmed brush and cut grass.

Other volunteers picked up trash and litter throughout the cemetery.

As some of the volunteers returned with their bags of debris, Musquiz directed them to place the bags at the entrance to the cemetery, where he said members of County Commissioner Pct. 1 Martin Wardlaw’s crew would pick them up later for disposal.

Musquiz said Wardlaw also assisted by clearing a lot between the existing cemetery grounds and the Calaveras Creek drainage to the west.

Musquiz said he hopes the cemetery can be expanded in this area, as well as into another area on the other side of the cemetery.

“The expansion is badly needed. There is no more space (in the existing cemetery), and with this COVID situation, we’ve been having a lot of people passing away. I don’t know where to bury them anymore,” Musquiz said.