Hidden treasure in Galápagos

By Wanda Bahde
This item appears on page 26 of the August 2020 issue.
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The sanctuary of Parroquia Franciscana Santa Marianita, located near Puerto Ayora’s main square — Galápagos. Photos by Wanda Bahde

Nearly everyone who visits the Galápagos Islands visits the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. However, most miss the hidden treasure of Parroquia Franciscana Santa Marianita (www.franciscanos.ec/santa-marianita-galapagos [in Spanish only]).

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The sanctuary of Parroquia Franciscana Santa Marianita, located near Puerto Ayora’s main square — Galápagos. Photos by Wanda Bahde

Nearly everyone who visits the Galápagos Islands visits the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. However, most miss the hidden treasure of Parroquia Franciscana Santa Marianita (www.franciscanos.ec/santa-marianita-galapagos [in Spanish only]).

From the exterior, this parish church — located on Avenue Charles Darwin near the town’s main square — could be any small, traditional Catholic church, but its sanctuary is contemporary, airy and unique.

High above the altar is an amazing stained-glass window depicting a pelican protecting her chicks, conceptually parallel to the Shepherd watching over His flock. Side windows celebrate God’s gift of nature in the Galápagos.

Discovering Santa Marianita was a beautiful conclusion to my October 2019 Galápagos expedition.

WANDA BAHDE
Summerfield, FL


Parroquia Franciscana Santa Marianita, located on Avenue Charles Darwin near the main square of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island —Galápagos Islands.
Stained-glass window depicting a pelican and her chicks.
Stained-glass window depicting a shark and other fishes.