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Church in Temozón gets a much-needed restoration after powerful storm

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Before and after images of San Agustín Church in Temozón. Photo: Courtesy

Reconstruction of San Agustín Church in Temozón is nearly complete.

The 18th-century church collapsed in 2018 during an exceedingly heavy rainy season. 

Weeks before its collapse, concerned locals had reported that the structure’s vault had begun to show signs of weakening. 

Mexico’s national institute for anthropology and history (INAH) began reconstruction work in February 2020.  

It is estimated that by the time the project is complete reconstruction will have cost approximately 5 million pesos. 

Work has gone fairly quickly and INAH architects say that they expect the project to be complete in a few weeks. 

The reconstruction effort was funded by an insurance policy taken out by INAH to protect the integrity of historical sites. 

Earlier: Intense rain damaged up to 25 of Yucatan’s ancient structures

“Because the collapse was the result of an unusually heavy rainy season, the INAH has been able to collect on the policy,” said local government official, Chab Cárdenas. 

Many residents of Temozón took part in the reconstruction effort supervised by the INAH. 

“We are just happy that our church is not going to remain a ruin, it is very important to our town,” said a local man, José Chan. 

San Agustín Church was built in 1720 and features a nave that extends from the entrance of the temple to the main altar.

Recent storms in Yucatán have also wreaked havoc on several other historic sites. In 2020, two hurricanes, three cold fronts and a tropical storm damaged between 20 and 25 buildings in Yucatán’s archaeological sites, INAH said.

The church is dedicated to its namesake, Saint Augustine of Hippo — a theologian, philosopher, and bishop of Numidia in the 5th century.

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