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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Uayma’s famous church gets a new lease on life thanks to its caretaker’s ‘leap of faith’

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
The community of Uayma is located 15 kilometers northwest of Valladolid and is accessible on state highway 79. Photo: Courtesy

Failing to get help from Yucatán’s state government, the caretaker of Uayma’s former Santo Domingo de Guzmán convent directly petitioned Mexico’s president for aid.

It worked. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on national television that the former convent would be restored using resources belonging to the Mayan Train fund. 

“I found out the president would be in the area soon to inspect the construction of the Mayan Train, so I thought this may be a good opportunity to request his assistance. It would look like my leap of faith paid off,” said the temple’s caretaker, Herbé Mukul Castillo. 

Uayma’s former convent is famous for its striking facade adorned with intricate geometric patterns. Like many other Catholic constructions of the time the structure utilized carved stones removed from ancient Mayan temples in the area.

Earlier: New images of the Mayan Train spark imagination

The church was set ablaze during the caste war of the 19th century but was restored in the 20th. Given its vibrant style, the complex has in recent years begun to draw tourists and couples looking for memorable wedding photos. 

Planned improvements to the former convent include the placement of structural beams, weatherproofing, and aesthetic detailing.

It has recently been announced that resources drawn from the Mayan Train fund will also be used to build on-site museums in Chichén Itzá and Kabah, as well as to improve and maintain archaeological sites across southeastern Mexico. 

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