Drought of a dam reveals a 16th century church in Mexico

In the midst of the alarming drought that affects Jalapa del Marqués, Oaxaca, the ancient church of the 16th century has emerged from the waters of the Benito Juárez dam, revealing a hidden historical treasure. This finding, although it attracts tourists, has become a worrying indicator for local farmers and fishermen.

The former convent, part of the old Jalapa Viejo, is located in the Benito Juárez dam, built in 1961 with a capacity of 720.317 cubic hectometers. Currently, the dam is at 45% of its capacity due to the prolonged drought, and it is feared that this situation will worsen.

For Alejandro Olvera, fisherman and boatman, the emergence of the temple means more than a tourist attraction: “Right now you can see 40 percent of its construction and for us who live from tourism, we say that it is beautiful, because people, not only from the Isthmus but from different parts of Mexico and abroad, come to take pictures and record. But the reality is that there are no mojarras, for those of us who live from fishing, everything is scarce because there is no rain”, he said.

The drought is also affecting local agriculture. Nicasio Nardo Cisneros, farmer, regrets the lack of rain and the low catch of mojarras, essential for his livelihood. Irrigated crops face the risk of drying up, and Juan de Dios Gallegos, technical manager of the main network, points out that the drought has reduced the amount of hectares irrigated per person.

Old Jalapa Viejo in Oaxaca.

Climate change is already affecting the region, according to Gallegos, who urges to raise awareness of the situation. The Service of Agri-Food and Fisheries Information (SIAP) reports that last year, in the midst of another dry season, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec experienced a 60% loss in the hectares planted with corn.

Source: Debate