Drought in Mexico reveals a church submerged 40 years ago – ZAP

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Luiz Ramirez / EPA

A church in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, survives between water and fish, as the only witness to a village flooded by a dam for more than 40 years. Now, due to the drought affecting the country, it has been exposed again.

According to the agency EFE, it is the Temple of the Virgin of Sorrows, whose construction dates from the middle of the 19th century, although there are documentary sources that date back to its beginning in the 18th century.

The Catholic complex, which combines neoclassical and baroque styles, was the heart of the Zangarro community, relevant since the times of the viceroyalty because there were the civil registry offices and the parish house of the then Villa Real de Mina de Guanajuato.

“The place, the parish, was crowded, because it had the civil registry and the vicarage, it was allowed to carry out this type of procedures, so it was a place very important“, said Sweet Maria Vazquez, director of the Archive Municipality of the city of Irapuato, 25 kilometers from the temple.

However, the history of the community would end with a decree signed in 1979 by the then president of Mexico, José López Portillo. The president ordered the construction of a dam, now known as La Purísima, on the 1,200 hectares of the municipality.

The indication was given by the fact that, six years earlier, Irapuato was totally flooded after the overflow of the El Conejo dam.

“Oral history tells that it was very difficult for them to leave, more than the buildings, the feeling of belonging to the place (…) Some resisted until they realized that it was already a reality that water would cover the entire city ”, continued Dulce Vázquez.

Thus, the inhabitants of Zangarro were relocated to nearby lands and refounded their community, preserving its name.

However, despite the passing of the years and having been flooded, the Temple of the Virgin of Sorrows survives and is today attracts visitors and the curious.

“Things have been found, even though it is already heavily looted. Imagine, we are talking about 1979 until today, a long time has passed ”, says the director of the Municipal Archive.

In times of heat and drought, the water level drops so much that access to the church is made without having to board one of the small boats that circulate around the dam – and even find small traces of the city.

Maria Campos Maria Campos, ZAP //