Chandler teen restores historic cemetery as symbol of respect to his roots

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Adrian Dozal and his Boy Scout troop helped clean up a historic cemetery in the East Valley. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Adrian Dozal and his Boy Scout troop helped clean up a historic cemetery in the East Valley. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The cemetery, located near Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue, is home to more than a hundred immigrant cotton field workers that supported World War I. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The cemetery, located near Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue, is home to more than a hundred immigrant cotton field workers that supported World War I. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The teen planned the project, raised money for supplies and organized other parents and Boy Scouts from his troop to help. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The teen planned the project, raised money for supplies and organized other parents and Boy Scouts from his troop to help. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
While Dozal needs to present his project beforeearning his Eagle Scout distinction, he already calls the experience life-changing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) While Dozal needs to present his project beforeearning his Eagle Scout distinction, he already calls the experience life-changing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Chandler teen with a personal connection to a historic cemetery is helping restore it as a symbol of respect.

Adrian Dozal, 16, discovered the Goodyear-Ocotillo Cemetery was overgrown with weeds and rusted crosses last fall.

“I just couldn’t believe it. It’s a cemetery, right? A final resting place for people and it just seems like it’s been neglected,” said Dozal.

The cemetery, located near Chandler Heights and Arizona Avenue, is home to more than a hundred immigrant cotton field workers that supported World War I. Since then, new development has gone up around it, hiding the direct view of the cemetery with tall walls.

“I feel connected to these people because my dad is an immigrant and my family is from Mexico,” said Dozal.

The teen planned the project, raised money for supplies and organized other parents and Boy Scouts from his troop to help.

“I’m very proud of him,” said Blanca Dozal, Adrian’s mom.

Ernestina Romero, who has several relatives buried in the cemetery, found a few words to describe her appreciation to Adrian and his troop.

“It’s special, a nice surprise,” said Romero.

“It means a lot to my Tata. This was my grandfather’s family. He would have really appreciated it,” said Anthony Romero, Ernestina’s grandson.

“We should respect people the way we would want to be respected,” said Dozal.

While Dozal needs to present his project before earning his Eagle Scout distinction, he already calls the experience life-changing.

“This project made me realize I can change something and other can people too. To make the world a better place, that’s what I’m here for,” said Dozal.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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