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 white wall that looks like a sky
Top of Guatemala
An open air taxi makes its way down the road
Hitting the block
We stayed in a great little nook
My friend Nachiket getting the jump on me in our courtyard
AN interesting courtyard that included birds and plants like many dotting America the great.
The city is quaint, gritty, and real, but also beautiful and a great connection point for all walks of life
St. Tomas - church atop an old mayan platform
AJ Miller, el Gigante
Saw this everywhere, has nothing to do with Wu
Some locals congregate under the graveyard
Some of the graves are more like temples
Just a beautiful place
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
All walks of life
worlds collide, some kept old ways, some welcomed new gods
One last market shot