The Caste War Museum tells the story of 400 years of Maya resistance to foreign attacks on their culture, lands, and beliefs. The Caste War (1847-1901) was the largest and most successful of a series of Maya rebellions against oppressive economic, political, and social systems imposed by the Spanish and perpetuated after Mexican independence in 1821.

The war exploded when government officials discovered that the Maya, in what is today Quintana Roo, were preparing for a new rebellion. The execution of a native leader in July 1847 ignited a conflict that spanned the rest of the century as the Maya sought to establish and preserve their autonomy. In 1850, the appearance of a “Talking Cross” not far from Tihosuco gave new impetus to the struggle.

The rebel movement officially ended in 1901; episodes of violence and retaliation fell off by the 1930s. Today, this spirit of independence remains at the core of Maya identity in the towns and villages of Quintana Roo. Buildings from the Caste War era survive throughout the region, witnesses to this epic conflict—among them, this museum and the partially ruined Iglesia del Niño Dios in the plaza of Tihosuco.


You are in Tihosuco, approaching the threshold of an epic poem: The Caste War.

If you believe that all people have the right to liberty,

pass under the lintel and contemplate this solemn testimony of our history.

This is a living museum not confined by the walls of this colonial building.

Its spirit draws life and meaning from the roads, the stucco and the quarry,

the sweet tones of the Maya language, the creative hand,

the small world of the milpa where time is ritual

and the strength of beliefs leaves its mark in the movements of daily life.





Calle 17, esq. 26

Colonia Centro

Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, México

CP 77121

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 am—6:00 pm


Telephone:  983-20-8-92-03

Web page:

Map of the Yucatán