Posted by: Gideon | March 23, 2010

Mexico with Kids: The Mummy Museum, Guanajuato.

Guanajuato, Mexico.

There  are museums, and then are museums.

I love museums in general – some are more interesting than others, and of course the latest hi-tech museums are great for kids.  The museum in Mumbai looks like the exhibits have not been changed since the British left in 1947 and so I decided not to take my kids there, while the brand new California Academy of Science in San Francisco is an incredible place for everyone. And then you get the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato!!

Just imagine that for scientific reasons, in some super dry areas of the world, bodies do not decompose but rather mummify. Egypt is the one we all know. Then just imagine, that the city decided to develop the land and move the occupants of the cemetery somewhere else – not a fun thought, but I guess this has happened in many places around the world in the name of progress.

Now, finally, what if that same city decided that instead of reburying the dead, they would put them on display for the whole world to see in a museum. Do you get more macabre than that? And that is exactly what happened in Guanajuato, which is home the Mummy Museum. Wait, it gets weirder! The mummies in Guanajuato are not ancient – in fact, they are the remains of people who died within the last 100 years – dressed in modern day suits, shoes, shirts, pants, hats, you name it. Some of them look like they could have been shopping at your nearest mall yesterday. And there are many of them – probably a few generations of the same families, dressed like they were going to a party.

Is it ethical? I don’t believe so. What was quite clear though, was that the day we visited this museum it was packed – we must have waited in line at least 30 minutes, and this is a museum that has been open for many years. And there is an entrance fee. I guess people just can’t get enough of the macabre. Was it suitable for kids? I’d say to any parent – be careful – for kids up to aged three its fine – they won’t even know what is going on. For teens, maybe its fine too – so long as they don’t scare too easily. For other kids – best to wait outside with them while parents take turns.

This is an absolutely unforgettable place – I mean, it’s not fun, but you’ll never, ever forget it.

PS These days I am designing fabulous family trips to Latin America. For more info on how I can help your family, visit here.

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