With most of the world worried about rising sea levels, Mexico is wishing that they could get more water. Struggling through another major drought, at least some locals have found a silver lining. That lining comes in the form of the Temple of Santiago, which has recently reappeared due to low water levels.
Situated in the Chiapas region of Mexico, this old temple has been submerged within the Nezahualcoyotl Resevoir since 1966. At that time, the Malpaso Dam was constructed to help control the area’s water suply. Of course, the workers must not have been too concerned with presevering the location of the temple, as the area had been abandoned around 1773-1776 due to plagues at the time. Even before that, it is believed that the temple never had a significant congregation.
Despite this, the building is a beautiful testiment to the time period, offering a great look back at the past of the area. Though the exact construction period is unclear, the Temple of Santiago is believed to have been designed by Bartolme de las Cases sometime in the mid-1500s. As a social reformer of that era, it was likely built as a way to improve local conditions and allow someplace for the community to raly around.
Many locals recall that this is not the first time the Temple of Santiago has been visible since its initial flooding in 1966. In fact, the area underwent an even more severe drought back in 2002 and the water level actually fell to the point that people could go visit the ruins on foot. Many celebrated this oportunity by having a picnic at the ruins. Today, the may not be able to get quite the same experience, but many locals are still celebrating its return.
Though this reemergence is due to low water levels and a serious drought period, many of the locals seem to see it differently. Boaters in the area have taken the oportunity to row out to the site and are even offering services to allow citizens and visiters to get an up-close view of the old temple. Though they cannot go out and have a picnic like many did last time, they are finding the chance to get a look back at history and are excited to see it.
Though it is hard to say for sure, perhaps some of them see it as an opportunity; others might even think it means they are at a turnaround point. Whatever it may be, now is the perfect time to visit and get a glimpse before it sinks back under the water.