Thirty Minutes in Uayma
Sometimes a photo of something catches your eye, and you think “I have to see that”. This often happens to me with old churches, which I am drawn to. At one point or another, on some website, I had seen a photo of a small church in Uayma, Yucatan, which really caught my eye. If I was ever in the area, I figured I’d try and stop and see it.
In September, 2012, I was headed from Campeche to Valladolid with a good friend, where we’d spend the night before moving on to Cancun in the morning to catch flights home. Uayma is a small town of perhaps 2,300 people, about 15 kilometers from Valladolid. At one point, Uayma had been an important place. In the 1800s, the city fell on hard times, and the church was burned during the Caste Wars. The restoration was only finally completed a few years ago. As I’d been in Valladolid just a few months earlier, the idea of poking around the same haunts wasn’t so appealing. I figured we could find a way to get to Uayma and check out the church.
Unfortunately, I arrived in Valladolid quite ill. I had caught a cold, and had spent most of the day with a painful sore throat and congestion. It didn’t really help that it was in the mid-90’s and humid. Nevertheless, after finding a room in Valladolid and dropping our luggage, we decided to make a run for Uayma.
Because of the small size of Uayma, finding a bus or collectivo was going to be problematic. I decided to hail a cab, and ask if he would take us, wait, and the take us back. I was unsure if any cabs would be in the area to take us back, so having him wait seemed like a good idea. The first cab driver I spoke to was amenable to plan — we asked him to wait 30 minutes, which seemed like enough time to see the church.
After a short drive and mild rain storm, we entered the small town. Our cab driver parked along the main square, and the church was immediately in front of us. And what a church it is! It’s of modest size, but heavily decorated. A dark, brick red coat of paint had faded to an orangeish-red and covered the building. It was heavily ornamented with white trim, white dots, and blue stars. It was quite unlike anything I had ever seen before. The facade also has a large, double headed eagle on it.
Luckily, the church was open. I was able to walk in and take a look inside. The inside was white, with painted decorations that matched the outside. Fans were aimed at the wooden pews. The altar and crucifix at the far end were very austere.