After the delightful scene of the women washing at La Tanque de la Union, Lucy and I went to see the nearby ruins of Santa Clara where we were in for yet another surprise.  

Established by two Mexican sisters, the Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara was inaugurated in 1734 only to be destroyed 40 years later by a massive earthquake.  Not much of this ornate structure was left intact however perhaps by an act of grace the church’s magnificent facade was left relatively unharmed and is still standing strong today.

Inside the ruins of Santa Clara we were in for yet another surprise.  They were setting up the inside of the ruins for a massive, over the top Quinceañera” also known as a “Fiesta de quince años”, “Fiesta de Quinceañera”, “Quince años” or simply “quince”.

Per Wikipedia, “the Quinceañera is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of  Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.  The celebration, however, varies significantly across countries, with celebrations in some countries taking on, for example, more religious overtones than in others.

The elaborate decorations lead one to believe that this must be a wealthy family especially in a country where many live on less than a couple hundred dollars a month. 

It was pretty however we were a little disappointed not to have the ruins by themselves.  I’m certain it would have been much more impressive. 

We climbed the ancient steps to find better views of the ruins such as this one below.  I can only imagine what the photo would have been like if it was a clear day.  We could have seen the pointed tip of the volcano!

Here are some of the more impressive views of the ruins of Santa Clara.

This photo below is my favorite.  I love the light peering through the gate onto the floor and the blue and white sky above. 

The day was getting later and later and nearing four o’clock.  I was exhausted yet there were still two more major ruins to see before the sun set.  I could hardly wait.

Stay tuned….


    1. Why thank you! Me too! I’m hoping I’m not boring readers with so many posts on ruins but I really loved them and felt like the pictures were so awesome especially with the powderpuff clouds and blue sky! Thanks for your comment!!! 🙂 Nicole

  1. I can believe you took 500 pictures! It’s the miracle of digital, no ticking off one’s ‘allowance’ and trying to stick to the ration of a couple of cans of film each day:) Don’t laugh – it wasn’t that long ago it was sometimes food or film back in the days when every buck was part of another day I could stay on the road. These ruins are so photogenic, and you’ve followed your third eye around, bringing us on another magical journey:)

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment! I agree that the digital camera is so amazing. I look back now over all my travels and I hardly have any pictures especially during the nine months I lived in Europe and traveled around. Only about a couple hundred or so. Amazing! 🙂

      1. Yes, and many of those damaged and discokoured for one reason or another! So you just keep on letting tip with that shutter whenever you’re out and about! The only thing, i’ve noticed, is that it’s sometimes difficult to discriminate between the dozens of different angles/views of the same subject to choose a definitive shot. But I suppose if I were a better photographer each would be a definitive shot in its own right. Oh well – still better than the old way.

  2. You got some great shots Nicole! We were lucky to have such a beautiful light and it brought the ruins to life with the fiesta preparations. You were lucky to have so much happening the day you were here! Did I tell you I went to a wedding here? Then we went to the evening reception in another ruin lit up by thousands of candles! Incredible!

  3. What a wonderful setting for a celebration! Wouldn’t mind celebrating my next milestone there! With you to photograph it 🙂

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