~ AUGUST 2022 ~
The giant penis statue is the result of a dying wish of a 99-year-old Mexican woman named Catarina Orduna Perez.
While most graves feature a tombstone with a hearty epitaph written on it, one grave in the town of Misantla, Mexico, stands out as it features a giant statue of a penis. The statue is the result of a dying wish of a 99-year-old Mexican woman named Catarina Orduna Perez.
Known as Dona Cata, the woman had one final wish before dying and that was for her grave to have a statue of a penis. Her family, abiding by the wish, erected the statue, five-and-a-half feet tall, in “recognition of her love and joy of life.”
“She was always very avant-garde, very forward-thinking about things. She wanted to break the paradigm of everything Mexican, where things are sometimes hidden because of not having an open mind,” Alvaro Mota Limon, Dona Cata’s grandson, told Vice. Limon said that her grandmother had a particular fascination with penises. She often used to refer to her family members as Vergas.
Vergas is a Mexican slang term that differs in meaning based on how the person uses or says it. While some use the term in a derogatory manner, some use other colloquial meanings, including one that is a compliment. One can use Verga to denote something as cool as well.
Dona Cata used to impart the message to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that they were Vergas and could accomplish anything they put their mind to. Limon said how his grandmother took on life with great optimism and never let any problem overwhelm her. “She conceptualised that idea to the family with the metaphor of a penis. Limon, recollecting what his grandmother used to tell him, said, “One should not give up. When problems arise, you need to face them head on.”
Talking about his grandmother’s last wish to get a statue of a penis on her grave, Limon said, “She told me that it was her desire so that no one would forget her and that everything we loved about her would be remembered more easily.” Her family members decided to make her last wish come true.
“At first, I thought it was a joke. Because it is not very common to see these kinds of sculptures or monuments, and even less so in the memory of someone who is deceased,” said Isidro Lavoignet, the engineer who designed the statue. Eventually, the idea reached its execution and after a month of work by a team of twelve people, the statue came into being.