Exploring forgotten regions of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Susana Ordovás and photographer Guido Taroni uncover the faded splendor of both neglected and restored homes
Susana Ordovás’s Inside Yucatán is an ode to the merging of the ancient with the contemporary. At the turn of the 20th century, more millionaires lived in the isolated region of Mérida than in any other city in the world, building breathtaking, brightly colored homes nestled into the surrounding tropical greenery like hidden jewels. Over time, nature conquered, leaving crumbling structures in place of what were once vibrant, lavishly decorated mansions. But today, Ordovás reveals, Yucatán’s “forsaken, decaying ruins, remnants of an illustrious past . . . are awakening from a centuries-old siesta.” Here, in Guido Taroni’s evocative new photographs of more than 30 previously unseen residences across the peninsula, in such places as Izamal, Mérida, and Valladolid, decadence and beauty shine through what remains of the homes’ diverse, contrasting styles, from Renaissance to Baroque, Medieval to Moorish, and occasionally a combination of all. Setting the houses in context, three specially commissioned maps of the region have been beautifully illustrated by renowned artist Jesús Cisneros. In her detailed commentary, Ordovás celebrates their eccentric, distressed charm and hails the revival of this magical land.