Taylor Explores the World

The Town of Tihosuco

Iglesia de Divino Niño creates a picturesque setting the instant you enter Tihosuco.  This small town is far from holding ‘city’ status, its 10 blocks by 10 blocks at most.   The city is fashioned with early 19thcentury structures; some with damage still from the Caste War of 1847, like it was yesterday. 


Iglesia de la Divino Niño looks over the town, its rear open to the elements like a watchful eye.  Left to stand as a reminder of the Mayas defiance and resistance; its continued use, despite the missing back half, the local Maya have managed to turn the destruction of war into a beautiful sanctuary to honor the conquistadors God whom long ago melded with their ancestors’ deities.

An occasional person bicycles past on this weekday afternoon but not a single automobile passes.  A group of teenagers, most dressed in their school uniform, hang out and gossip on their way home in the courtyard of a church half missing from a war a century and a half ago.  Yet, despite the Mayas desperate attempts to keep the foreigners out, today they are flooding in, by the millions, just a few hours away. 
Though these foreigners’ footprints may not yet be trampling directly through Tihosuco they have heavily impacted this small community.  Younger family members leave to look for work in the big tourist cities.  Often they return home with crushed dreams, broken trust, gringo diseases like STIs and TB and gang associations.  A doctor who specializes in Western medicine sits across from the museum to treat these “modern” ailments that come along with “civilization” and modernity.  

Down the street, the graffiti illustrates what some have experienced in the big cities with gangs and violence.

The town itself is a place filled with historical opposition and considered the last holdout of the Maya Resistance.  Short but strong, the Maya were a people who stood up to their oppressors to preserve their way of life.   Museo de la Guerra de Caste is a beautiful museum that displays the local Maya’s history.  It is created by dedicated hands wanting to share their great culture and history.    The museum itself is wonderful and illustrates their tenacity perfectly. 

I loved this little town.  It is a perfect example of Post-contact Mayaland, where Spain has influenced, sometimes forcefully, the Maya for 500 years.  There are no Domino’s pizzas; in fact, I do not recall seeing a  single restaurant.  There are no “boutique” stores, “box” stores or yuppified anything.  There is only a magical mixture of resilient Maya and dominating Spanish that creates a sense of teetering on two time periods and cultures.  It is real, authentic; this is truly the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, still untouched by the contemporary foreign conquerors streaming into Cancun and Playa del Carmen.


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