Paricutín could be described as Mexico’s version of Pompeii although on a much smaller scale. Think village instead of city. In February of 1943 a farmer ploughing his field was confronted with smoke coming out of a mound in the soil. He fled and soon after a volcano rose out of the ground. Within a year it reached 1,200 feet. The lava it spewed engulfed two villages. In February of 1952 the lava stopped flowing but not before covering a 10-mile radius.
Today the dramatic remains of a cathedral jut out of craggy moonscape of black lava. The altar of the church managed to survive and can be reached by carefully climbing over and between steep mounds of molten rock.
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