Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chichicastenango, Guatemala - markets, mayhem, graveyeards, and charm


Guatemala is one of the most underrated destinations on earth. With volcanoes, great colonial cities Mayan ruins, rainforests, and just shitloads of natural beauty, it is a spellbinding place to find yourself for a few weeks. About 6500 feet up into the Guatemalan highlands, Chici seems perched at the top of Guatemala, an uphill gathering place for the denizens  of this collectivist nation. From the cities and villages, old Mayans and city folk alike find their way to Chichicastenango to trade goods and come together.

The church of St Tomas (above) is a 400 year old church with a rich history. Originally a Mayan temple, the church serves several purposes to the community. K'iche' Mayan priests still use the church for their rituals, burning incense, candles, and chickens for the old gods. It is the kind of place where the past still burns bright.



  A local tries to sell me a flute - his shadow gives another angle

 Masks used for traditional dances 
 
 A local Chichicastenango butcher reads an opinion piece 


 Old and new colliding during an incense burning Mayan ritual 

 The colorful graveyard is a surprise 

 Every color is represented in what feels like more a celebration of life than a monument to death

Lots of crosses 

 Hitching a ride 

 We seemed to touch the clouds

 The colorful graveyard spilled out across an old hill 

 Some parts of the market catered to tourists while others sold meat, lime for tortillas, machetes, and other tools. It is a visiting place for both Guatemalans from highland villages and vacationing students from Phoenix.

 Walking amongst the graves was surreal 

 A shootout in the streets - this was a goal 

 AN inquisitive indian peaks around his mom 

Just a street scene showing a slice of everyday Guatemalan life 

 A garage 

 A white wall that looks like a sky

 Top of Guatemala 

 Gasolina 

 An open air taxi makes its way down the road 

 #45

 Hitting the block 

 We stayed in a great little nook 

 My friend Nachiket getting the jump on me in our courtyard 

 Our garden 

 AN interesting courtyard that included birds and plants like many dotting America the great.
 
 A knocker 

 The city is quaint, gritty, and real, but also beautiful and a great connection point for all walks of life




A walkway 

 St. Tomas - church atop an old mayan platform
 
 AJ Miller, el Gigante 

 Courtyard parrot 

 Green 

 Saw this everywhere, has nothing to do with Wu 

 Local stuff

 Local pup 

 Some locals congregate under the graveyard 

 Some of the graves are more like temples 

 XX

 Just a beautiful place

 Messages 

 Lots of crosses 

 One of the larger graves/temples?

 Chichi from the graveyard

 #71 - these guys are handy on the hilly streets of ChiCHi

 A Mayan family 

 These guys were duded up - maybe Mayan priests? I have no idea - just waltzing through the market 

 A gathering indeed 

 Vessels 

 All walks of life 

 worlds collide, some kept old ways, some welcomed new gods 

 The countryside 

One last market shot

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