|Iglese de San Joaquin was started in 1640 in Curiti, Santander in Colombia.|
|The church, as seen further up the street in|
Curiti; this is the older section of village.
The best way to get there is to go to the municipal terminal (not the big one) and catch the little bus (bussetta) under the Curiti sign. It will cost about 2100 (COP) each way and take about 20 minutes, depending on traffic. You head out toward Bucaramanga and just after a large gas station on the right, the road dips down and you head off into the hills. Just as you arrive, you cross over a small bridge for a little river which has lately been much larger with all the rain. Because the bussettas are the lifeblood for the campesinos getting to and from the market in San Gil, you can expect to be traveling with a variety of ages and materials, especially if you make the trip on a Sunday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday as those are key market days.
|Interior view toward nave of San Joaquin church in Curiti.|
|Stained glass windows of San Joaquin church in Curiti.|
|View looking toward entrance and first phase of the|
construction of San Joaquin church in Curiti.
|Detailed view of entrance of San Joaquin church in Curiti.|
|Exterior view of entrance to San Joaquin.|
This church clearly shows its early construction and while there were no plaques to tell of the history, there was a tourist information booth staffed by two local young ladies who had a book they had taken notes in with lots of answers. They were able to tell me that the church construction began in 1640 and was built in three phases. It is well maintained overall and the stained glass windows are beautiful but would benefit from being cleaned.
|This street is where you will find the 'full-chicken BBQ'|
across from the market buildings.
|This is one of the last chickens on the spit; we had already|
eaten and they were winding down for the day.
We walked around the village after lunch, but since many places were closed because of it being Sunday or until after 2 p.m., it was rather quiet. There are two rather large hotels on the plaza, and a huge hostel just at the entrance of the village, so if one wanted to come and stay here, that should not be a problem. It is the sort of place one might choose as a retreat as there does not seem to be a lot of distracting energy and noise here.
|One artisan shop showing a sample of the|
kind of fique work they can do - a lovely
scenic wall hanging!
|This little girl was trying on a hat and to her|
right and behind her you can see some of
the kinds of materials created here.
The bus waits at the main plaza and then makes one loop around town, honking to alert potential passengers, and then stops one last time at the park before heading back to San Gil. It seems to leave and arrive about every half hour. We left just in time as it was beginning to drizzle and by the time we reached San Gil it was a full-on downpour. But it was a peaceful and inexpensive journey for the day.
|One last look at the oldest section of the church from|
the inside looking out at the park plaza.