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.