Taylor Explores the World

Iglesia De Divino Nino

Address: Calle 17 esq. 26, Colonial Centro, Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P.77121

I was slightly nervous as we came close to Tihosuco, I was worried we would have trouble finding the church in this “larger” town.  As soon as we entered the town those fears quickly faded, the church was huge and easily visible from the edge of town. 

You could tell from afar the damage the Caste War of 1847 had left on the huge structure.  The whole back end of the church, where you would have originally entered, was gone and wide open to the elements.  Left standing, the church was a symbol of local Mayas’ resilience, their fight, their spirit, their perseverance and power.

Driving toward it, we parked on a street that ended at the church.  The Ruta de la Iglesias plaque stood to the side of the opening where a gate may have once stood in the concrete wall.   We crossed the street toward the front courtyard.  

As we entered the courtyard it was very quiet, so quiet we questioned if we were supposed to enter here or even be at the church. Once we inched into the courtyard and no one came out yelling our eyes moved to the huge church doors.  The twenty foot doors sat wide open, above it sat a keyhole that was adorned with a leery eyed pigeon who had deemed the hole his perch and was cautiously waiting for us to make a quick move toward him.

We stuck our heads through the door, half expecting to get scolded or to have a hundred eyes on us.  Nope not a person in sight, we would not be the town entertainment for the day.  Only a few pigeons who fluttered above to higher safer ledges as we startled their previous rest. 

The place was beautiful and well-maintained inside.  All the transepts were painted by a local artist with beautiful murals, telling stories of believers, saints, angels and martyrs through colors and brush strokes. Some of the original floor remained in the pulpit area; the rest sat several inches higher and had recently been replaced with beautiful cream travertine tiles. 

The main walls were smooth white with limestone stucco.  The pulpit was still dressed with the flowers and hand embroidered cotton linen clothes from the day’s morning service.  

Gorgeous delicate wooden pews carved of local wood and ceiling beams lead your eye out the nave toward the missing end of the church. We were there at the perfect time, the afternoon sun rays flowed in from a beautiful courtyard creating a breathtaking sight.  

In this space you forget, at least I did, the war, the inequalities that caused it, the destruction and pain of it , you see what the culmination of these forces produced; a space of beauty, power and faith all emerging from the “rubble” that makes it what it is.

As we exited the church, the way we had entered, I stopped to photograph the beautiful courtyard we had rushed through earlier with the sense of trespassing.  

We overheard giggling, glancing towards its origins, near the missing end stood a group of local teenagers dressed in their school uniforms.  Their gossiping was interrupted by our presence which caused them to quickly change focus to my daughter’s pink hair.

To see more photos of the Iglesia de Divino Niño click here.  


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