Monday, February 9, 2015

our lady of the waters

Baños has a central square dominated by Nuestra Señora de la Agua Santa. 
There were services every time I walked by. 
The acoustics are superb. 
Around the sides are a series of paintings depicting various disasters: 
fires, floods, and of course eruptions. 
Most but not all featured miracles. Oops. 
This was my favorite painting. She's like Joan of Arc, or maybe Pele creating Haleakala. 
There's also a doll-like crèche of a very white virgin inside an erupting volcano that reminded me of a holy science diorama. I wanted to take a photo but didn't want to upset the people praying and lighting candles. 
You can have your picture taken in front of the church. 
But this mural exemplifies why I have no patience for the Catholic Church in South America: native brown-skinned people supplicating to very white saints and religious leaders. Even if it is historically accurate. 
At night the church is floodlit like Disneyland or a small castle. 
A beautiful site, regardless of beliefs. And who wouldn't worship the water in this town.