National Geographic : 1919 Sep
Photograph by Valdeavellano TIIE ALTAR SCREEN OF THE CHURCH OF CERRITO DE CARMEN This beautiful little church, the most beloved in the city, and regarded by many persons as the very symbol of the stability of Guatemala City, has crumpled and crumbled before the reiterated shocks. While the church itself has been destroyed, the image has been preserved and set up under a temporary shelter. The worshiper can turn from contemplation of the figure of Christ to see the ashes and the debris of "a city that was" spreading beneath him in a panorama of devastation. volcanoes, and her principal southern port, Amapala, is situated on Tigre Island, a typical volcanic cone. Ancient lava flows and deposits of volcanic mud hardened into a light, friable stone are found in central Honduras. Earth quakes have not entirely forgotten this Republic, for only a few years ago the flourishing town of Gracias was utterly wrecked. Nicaragua, almost equally with her northern sisters, has suffered heavily in the past from earthquakes and volcanoes. Leon, the metropolis of Nicaragua, was formerly located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, near the base of Momotombo. This capital was destroyed in 1609 and removed to its present site, in the fertile valley of Subtiaba. Even here, how ever, it has not ceased to suffer. Masaya volcano was active in 1522, when the Spaniards first entered Nica- ragua, and again in 1772, 1858, and 1908. Momotombo, which is nearly always smoking, has had periods of great activ ity, especially in 1764 and 1852. Ome tepe and Madera, with smoke issuing from their summits, dominate the scenery of Lake Nicaragua. A VOLCANO THAT BLEW OPF ITS OWN HEAD But perhaps the most sensational erup tion recorded in the annals of Nicaragua is that of Coseguina, at the entrance of the Gulf of Fonseca. In 1835 this vol cano blew off its head and scattered dust far and wide. The black pall obscured the surn for days, and old Indians still fix their ages and other events in rela tion to "La Oscuridad Grande"-The Great Darkness. The dust settled thickly over field and forest, and wild animals as well as tame died by thousands from thirst and hunger.