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Museo del San Francisco in Cajamarca, Peru

After the Sillas de los Incas, we went to the Museo de la San Francisco.

This museum goes underneath the old church of San Francisco (think tombs and catacombs) as well as through the old Franciscan monastery. Though the entry to the museum was worth it (3 soles); our tour wasn’t really worth it. It cost 10 soles and basically consisted of a guy (coincidentally named Jonathan) who spoke so fast we couldn’t understand what he was saying.

I mean, it was like Micro-Machines man fast. (Remember the man who did the commercials for Micro Machines? Picture him, but in a foreign language you’ve just begun to really grasp.)

It was such a stark contrast to our tour from 12 year old Edwin, who actually used more complicated language, but spoke slowly and clearly.

Jonathan (the tour guide) pointed aggressively at (and in some cases tapped aggressively on) 200-500 year old artifacts which are in delicate condition, and would give us an obvious description of the thing, always using the word example. (“and over here we have an example of an old typewriter”, “and over here are examples of real human bones”, “and over here is an example of a bible”, “and over here are examples of vestments for priests”, “and over here are examples of Incan spears”, etc.

On second thought, the tour guide was worth paying for, being only $3, but we didn’t get any history of the church of San Francisco or the people… just lots of pointing, tapping, and quick, one sentence describing, in VERY FAST Spanish.

I had to ask a lot of questions to get any information more than just the most basic description.

A sample conversation in the catacomb:
“These aren’t just examples, they are real human bones, right”
“Who are these bones from?”
“Bones of the caxamarca people”
“When where they discovered?”
“About 50 years ago.”
“And what was life like for the Caxamarca?”
“Pretty tough, but interesting.  They knew a lot about water.”
“Yep… And over here we have an example of…”

But for $1.30 entry (each) and a $3.30 tour guide, the museum of the old church of San Francisco in Cajamarca is worth a visit.

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