San Juan Chamula, Mexico

Photo © Darij And Ana

San Juan Chamula’s church hasn’t heard mass for over 30 years and doesn’t house a single pew – in fact live chicken sacrifice and shot swigging are more the order of the day.

It’s not your average Catholic institution. Inside the church the air is thick with heady incense fumes, row upon row of candles blaze on the floor and locals knock back coke and a liquor called ‘Pox’, as belching is believed to banish evil spirits.
Saint statues line the walls but bizarrely display deformities or missing body parts. Even the Virgin Mary is bereft of a slice of her nose.

Unfortunately it’s impossible to capture this otherworldly scene as cameras are strictly prohibited inside the church. Any attempts at photography risk a broken camera, or even a broken arm.

Written by - Photo by Darij And Ana

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