The Museo Prohibido in Cuenca, Ecuador is not for the faint of heart. When I enter, an iron chandelier decorated with skulls in the Gothic style casts a dim light in the dark room. The museum is incredibly quiet. Perhaps it’s the metal, skeletal depiction of Jesus Christ hanging on a cross with a large erection that creates a sense of discomfort or blasphemy that clashes with the Catholic upbringing of Ecuadorian and Cuenca residents. In addition to the bizarre yet irresistible attraction of the work of art, the curators encourage a sense of disrespect for one’s own gallery. The staff encourage visitors to touch each piece of art, and a cafe, bar, and even a tattoo shop are also on-site to entice museum-goers to experience the exhibits with their other senses.

Former cider maker and working musician from Frederick, Trevor Davis is a travel writer and content creator who combs the earth in search of a taboo culture to absorb.

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