Saturday, September 6, 2008

Local Church

Before St Mary's Church in Tamarindo was built this year, the above church in Villareal was the closest church. Tamarindo is a resort town inhabited primarily by international residents. Villareal is about 8 km (5 miles) inland and is a typical small town inhabited by Costa Ricans, many of whom work in Tamarindo.
Above is a photo of the interior. It is typical for a small town and functional. A comparison of this church to the granite and marble of the photos I have posted during the past few days shows how special the new church in Tamarindo is. I hope that the local "Ticos" will visit and enjoy the new St. Mary's Church in Tamarindo, while still supporting their local churches.
The photo above shows the setting for the church in Villareal. As is typical for Costa Rican towns, the church is located on the town square, and the town square is a football (or soccer in the USA) field. The Guanacaste region of Costa Rica has a ranching tradition, and as you can see in this photo, there is an old cattle corral and chute right on the town square, with the church in the background.


Hilda said...

Personally, I like this church better than the new one. I like simple better than ornate (though I do enjoy touring the fancy ones) and I'm much more comfortable with small congregations. Oh, and I like wood much better than marble too. :)

But yes, I hope the Costa Ricans go to the new one too — it's a church to be proud of, definitely!

David -- said...

You make a good point. I am sure that the local church serves the congregation well and is a great benefit to and is devoutly supported by the community. For the international community that Tamarindo has become, however, I think that they are more likely to attend the new church than to travel to the next town to attend the local church.

Regarding your comment about simple or ornate churches, I will tell a story about my late father. He grew up in a small town in Ohio, the son of a coal miner. He liked to say that he was born in a log cabin (although someone had installed siding to cover up the logs before he was born in 1917).

He attended a very simple, rural Methodist church as a child. He was a teenager when he went to a Catholic church for the first time, with a friend. Of course he was trying to be inconspicuous and fit in when walking into the unfamiliar environment of the much more ornate decorations of the Catholic church. When his friend and he stopped to walk from the center aisle to go into one of the pews, he followed his friend but he was looking up at the ceilings and statues rather than looking at his friend. He was unaware of the practice of genuflecting, so when his friend kneeled down, my father tripped right over him, did a complete somersault, with his feet banging against the wooden pews, etc. Not exactly a graceful, inconspicuous entrance.

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