Cofre de Perote and Pico de Orizaba loom up to the west of us here in Colonia Ursulo Galván, Cofre on the north, Pico on the south. Passing between them as we did on our trip to see snow, one moves from the dense green of cloud forest to desert and near-desert: a stark and fairly sudden contrast. In Quimixtlan we could see the dry starting to sap the landscape. Shortly after Quimixtlan we rose into the altoplano. The only green we saw was the dusty green coloring pine trees and sparse patches of grass and succulents and cactus.
Outside of Quimixtlan, we saw this very blue church. It was NOT lopsided in real life.
Here is the notice you see posted above. It announces a Day the Seminary. It asks not just for money but for sacrifice and prayer and tells how you can help a person attend seminary. It also offers retreats for "youths and señoritas" with a yearning for the religious life.
When I turned to leave the church, I found a very annoyed looking woman waiting for me. "Why are you taking pictures of our church," she demanded. I wanted to say because your church moves me, but I couldn’t think how, so I just said, because it is beautiful. She said, "And why do you think it is beautiful?" I said because of the love in it. So many people must have made it this way. "Are you Catholic," she wanted to know. I’m not. "What are you?" Episcopalian. "Is that one of those Protestant churches?" I was starting to get a feeling. No, I said. It is what the Catholic church became in England. And then it came to America. "So, she said," it is a kind of Catholic." Yes, I said. We walked outside. I offered money. She refused. "No. As long as you are a kind of Catholic, you can be here."
A friend of hers was outside chatting with Jim. The friend explained, "Missionaries come and take pictures of the church and then try to talk people into leaving it."
That Jim and I weren't among those missionaries relaxed everyone. At the end, we shook hands and the friend smiled and said, "If you come this way again, please, bring us copies of the pictures."
The plaque itself seems to commemorate the arrival of potable water in the community in 1996.