Three men, field laborers by day, huddle on a bench as night descends, a mess of empty bottles of hard liquor strewn nearby. Another man gets a refresher on how to ring the bell in case of emergency. One listens attentively to orders from their leader.
It is time to guard the churches of Cholula.
A small, picturesque city 80 miles southeast of Mexico City, Cholula is said to have a church for every day of the year. There are, in reality, about 80 in all, many dating to the 17th century and filled with paintings and sculptures from that time. It is enough to draw hordes of worshipers ”” and thieves.