VOZPOPULI From the Pyramids of Egypt to sailboats on the Rhine: a Spanish company designs luxury funerals a la carte

219 46 Yatri

Yatri is a company that revives the business of death with an offer of posthumous tributes containing ships, helicopters and planes to transport ecological urns to unexpected places like the Pyramids of Giza.

The ashes of the deceased are transported in compressed sand or salt ecological urns. – Picture Yatri

  • 09/13/2015 ENTERPRISES

As people have the strange habit of dying, businessman Juan Antonio González thought to launch a range of services to meet the last wishes of those who prefer to be dismissed with the minimum possible suffering. In order to materialize his idea he contacted several transport companies to which he convinced of the need to “refresh” the funeral industry and the result came in 2013 under the name of Yatri, an innovative company that scatters ashes by boats, helicopters and airplanes .

“I still remember the thud of the shovel when lifting the sand at funerals I used to go to when I was a child, it was overwhelming”, recalls CEO of Yatri

Two years after its founding, Yatri turnover of more than 1 million euros and has intervened in posthumous tributes in 20 countries. “I try to give a different approach to such a sad time like the death of a loved one and trying that their memories leave us a less marked trail, which is understood as transitory moment,” says Gonzalez, CEO of Yatri. “I still remember the thud of the shovel when lifting the sand at funerals I used to go to when I was a child, it was overwhelming”, he recalls.

According to the businessman, the price range of its services varies by country. Thus in Brazil the cheapest farewell act was carried out at a cost of $ 300 (about 265 euros). In the north of Africa the least affordable to date, worth 40,000 euros. “In Spain, we can offer personalized tributes from 395 euros,” he says.

Gabo’s Ashes

His special business has not only aroused the interest of several families, but also of the Government of Mexico regarding the death of Colombian writer and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. “I received a call from the General Directorate of Protocol of Mexico requesting information because they wanted to fulfill the last will of García Márquez and to distribute his ashes between Colombia, his native country, and Mexico, where much of his life he lived,” he says. And was this way hoe this Spanish entrepreneur advised in the distribution of ashes of ‘Gabo’. Although these have ended in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, now also they are claimed by the Colombian town of Aracataca, the ‘Macondo’ that inspired A Hundred Years of Solitude.

Tributes developed by Yatri range from Viking-style rituals in the North Sea to helicopter flights.

Land, sea and air. Tributes developed by Yatri range from ritual Viking-style in the North Sea to helicopter flights to scatter the ashes in the Alps, to travel to Egypt to bid farewell at the Pyramids of Giza in the shadow of the pyramids. In addition to offering other possibilities such as the scattering of ashes in the crater of a volcano or on the seabed, accessing latter with diving equipment.

Drones and ecological urns

The latest innovation of the company has been introducing drones at the scene. “We made a farewell on the Rhine River, passing by Düsseldorf. Days before the ceremony, one of the sons of the deceased had to go to a hospital for treatment, so we thought it would a good idea to record the event with drones and rebroadcast it as streaming” has González said. It should be noted that the urns use pressed sand or salt. “We have ecological urns certified by the Ministry of Health and Environment that integrate with nature in a few hours. Some models to bury contain seeds from which trees grow in the future,” he says.

“Entrepreneurship in this country is hard and in a sector as limited as the funeral one even more. It is a specific sector where it is not easy to get,” reveals Juan Antonio González

However, undertaking has not been easy for Gonzalez, who until 2013 had been working in banking. “Entrepreneurship in this country is hard and in a sector as limited as the funeral one even more. It is a particular area where it is not easy to get. We join only after incineration, in the last step of the funeral home. I’ve never wanted to overlap what they do “he says.

Although cremations currently are on an upward trend at the expense of burials, which benefits Yatri, to change the traditions of Spanish society around death is not a simple process. Just remember the commotion caused by the appearance of the first funeral homes for those who were accustomed to ensure their dead at home. “We do not work with tangible goods, we work with feelings, so we have to be very respectful and careful with our services. We took a gamble on one card because in our tributes there is no second chance,” he concludes.