Tamarindo is finally getting its first church! And what a church it is! Inglesia de Santa Maria, or St. Mary's Church, is used for Sunday services, although construction is not yet complete, as reflected by this Mack truck.
The money to build the church was donated by three American benefactors, Frank Barnyak and Frank and Donna Galluzzo. Mr. Barnyak gave the gave the funds and initiated the effort to build the church as a memorial to his wife Mary Barnyak, who passed away on January 5, 2005. The church was dedicated in her honor on January 5, 2008.
This is not just a first church, but a spectacularly ambitious, beautiful work of art. The front facade, visible in this photo, is granite, as are the interior floors, walls and mosaics. You can see some of the statuary on the front facade from a distance in the above photo.
In future posts, including tomorrow and early next week, I will show you some statuary and mosaics inside. I predict that you will be amazed, as this Church includes construction materials and art that you would never expect in a small town that up until a few years ago was a fishing village and hangout for surfers and until now has not even had a single church. (By the way, note that the sign in front of the church is an advertisement for a surfing school.)
Half of the land for the church was donated by a local resident, Enriqueta Lopez, but a mortgage of $39,500 USD was needed to pay for the other 50% of the land and a fundraising effort is being launched to try to pay for the mortgage. The person who is coordinating the fundraising effort is Vinicio Hildalgo. He is also the manager of the Capitan Suizo Hotel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.