By NICHOLAS CASEY
APRIL 21, 2016
MONTECRISTI, Ecuador — The earth shook and the steeple fell, taking most of the bell tower with it. A white facade gave way, leaving the pews open to the street.
But amid the wreckage at the basilica, one object remained untouched: Our Mother of Monserrate, the statue of the Virgin Mary for which the church was named.
Dressed in gold robes and wearing a tiny crown, she is only about three feet tall. But the statue, which landed on these shores from Spain in the 16th century, has long played an outsize role in the history of Montecristi.
Hope among the hopeless after a natural disaster..
The statue that weathered so much. Weathering more..