Drought uncovers the Quechula Temple in Mexico

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

“El Niño” natural phenomenon has caused droughts across several places in Mexico. It is this lack of rain which has revealed what remains of the Quechula Temple in Chiapas, Mexico.

The temple, built in the 16 Century by Dominicans in the north of Chiapas, is 61 meters long and has been deeply immersed since the year 1966. This was the year in which the construction of the Malpaso Dam, in the course of the Grijalva River was completed, being the second largest river in Mexico.

The Grijalva River is 600 kilometers long, and the lack of rain has affected it, and is currently in a critical condition. This is because experts indicate that the Quechula church can be seen when the water level drops 25 meters.

Iglesia

Imagen Original: Captura Pantalla “CHIAPAS ,TEMPLO DE QUECHULA.mov” por Gildardo Vazquez Sanchez

Four major dams depend on the Grijalvo River, one of them is the Malpaso, which has an important hydroelectric plant that provides electricity to several states in southeastern Mexico. According to an article in El País, in August the river was 11 meters below its average levels.

According to various studies by experts, the temple was abandoned between 1773 and 1776 due to a series of plagues that affected the communities inhabiting the area, which is now populated by Zoque Indians.

The Quechula Temple is also known as the Church of Santiago, and when the water level leaves it bare, the fishermen of the region become tour guides and take dozens of curious visitors, on their boats, who wish to see the remains of the temple.

This activity then, turns into an alternative economic income instead of fishing, as the drought season starts.

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