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The Perks of Living Through a Drought

In the Twenty-First Century, climate change has become a leading issue, evidenced by abnormal patterns in the weather. For a couple of years now, one of the most prevalent features of climate change in drought. In the United States, California has been enduring an extensive drought while South Carolina is recovering from massive flooding due to Hurricane Joaquin. However, there has been one thing that has been brought about because of climate change that people can actually benefit from.


This is a church in Mexico known as the Templo de Quechula, located in the state of Chiapas, has been submerged since the construction of a the Malpaso Dam on the Grijalva River in 1966. The church was completed in 1564 by Dominican monks under the supervision of Bartolomé de las Casas, a friar who became famous for his activism for the fair treatment of the native population. The church was later abandoned in 1773 after a series of plagues struck the region. Now, because of a drought in the area, the water level of the lake created by the construction of the dam has dropped so low that much of the church is now visible, with local fishermen being paid to ferry people out to the church. This has happened only once before, in 2002. However, in 2002 the water receded even further than today, so much so that people could actually walk among the church ruins. When people could walk within the ruins, people typically used them as a sort of public forum: people ate there, socialized there, conducted business there, the local fishermen sold fried fish there. Some even held religious processions around the ruins. And people could do that once again if the drought continues on for much longer.

To see more photos of the church ruins, click here.

About Nathan Scheer

Nathan Scheer is contributor to The Artoholic and a webmaster for TheArtExperts.org, who is currently studying History and International Studies at Elon University in North Carolina. He has also worked for Rehs Galleries, Inc. and Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., which specialize in 19th and 20th Century European paintings and contemporary academic paintings, respectively, as well as Christie's Rockefeller Center.


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