ARRIVING IN CHICHICASTENANGO

Chichicastenango Travel Blog

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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32 502-756-1316. Colonial architecture. Beautiful courtyard filled with flowers.

At about 8 or 8:30 PM on saturday September 29 I finally arrived at Chichicasteango. I got off the bus and directed myself to a hotel. Another passanger pointed it to me. The name was "Hotel Chichicasteango"it was not in any of my travel guides. The room was very clean, with an useful  fireplace that can be used for cooking and warming a room at the same time with firewood.  The cost only $40 Q, $5.25 Dollar. The bathroom was outside of the room.  I did not dare shower as it did not look inviting. I slept well.

After securing a room for the night and leaving my belongings the next step was to feed myself. I had not been able to eat during the trip. I began walking on the street of what was going to be the next day the big Market and saw people preparing their stalls, some already wrapped in blankets for the night in the sidewalk surrounded with baskets with their merchandise and some people offering food that they were cooking using  charcoal.

Market in Chichicatenango in front of the church. Several women sell flowers a the steps of the church. The Mayan pople came to the church and left flowers, burnt incense and spilled rhum to their Saints. Those were offerings.
Some girls were making tortillas. Some people sitting in a small table eating, some grocery stores still open. That street was just a few steps from my well located hotel.

I asked for a bottle of milk at the grocery and they did not have any, I continued checking and they did not sell  any milk either, I just could not find milk. I bought fresh  bread for fifty cents Q each piece just across from the hotel and wanted the milk to have it with the bread.
I decided to buy tortillas with the girls that were making them on the street using a comal and firewood. I sat with other two local man  and had beans with tortillas and oatmeal drink called mush. The seller, a woman had more dishes but I did not want anything else. This was my supper and the price was3 q for the tortillas, 2Q for the mush, 3 Q for the beans.
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32 502-756-1316. Colonial architecture. Beautiful courtyard filled with flowers. These are "flores para el dia de muertos".
, about one dollar. So far, the most expensive item had been my cab ride from the airport to Guatemala City, priced for tourists.

I went to a couple of shops along the same market street (mostly were closed for the day) and bought a few things,  a Mayan textil and jewelry. I was the only person who did not look like the market people. I knew the next day would be full and there would be many tourists, I enjoyed the moment. It was magical.

A truly remarkable way of ending my first day in this new country.

I went back to the hotel and saw more people arriving, more sleeping on the sidewalk with their merchandise, animals or having coffee and some fixing the stalls for next day market.

sylviandavid says:
Nice blog.... sounds like you had a great time..
Posted on: Feb 15, 2009
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32 502-756-1316. Colonial architecture. Beautiful courtyard filled with flowers.
I got up very early, about 6 in the morning. I opened the window and stepped out  to the balcony to check the action bellow. There were  sellers at the Market and things seemed to start moving. My hotel was half a block  from everything.
After checking that the bathroom would not do for  a shower, I went to the market and began my explorations.
The highlight was the visit to Santo Tomas Church in the middle of the market. I took one picture inside where you are not allowed to take pictures and several outside.
This church had in the aisle little islands on pedestals with candles, flower petals, incence, and man and women  praying in  Mayan languages. The first half of the church was dedicated to the Mayan Saints. Not a pretty sight, the Saints looked somewhat poor, squalid and helpless.
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32 502-756-1316. Colonial architecture. Beautiful courtyard filled with flowers.
The outfits were in bright colors like purple and the saints were male. The devotees came with an alcoholic beverage as an offering (spreading it around and on the Saint), incence, candles and the petals of flowers. Their look was  very devoted, faithful and spiritual. It was a very moving moment being there! The mixture of their beliefs with the catholic setting was disconcerting, though.
I had never experienced this type of  religious syncretism between the catholic faith and the Mayan rituals.
On the steps leading to the church women sold flowers. Check my pictures.
At about noon I left by bus, same type of bus. The top of the bus was carrying many animals on baskets.
I left to Panajachel, making a connection without any problem and as cheaply as before.
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Market in Chichicatenango in front…
Market in Chichicatenango in fron…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32
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Hotel Santo Tomas. 7 Avenida 5-32…
Market in Chichicatenango in front…
Market in Chichicatenango in fron…
Market in Chichicatenango in front…
Market in Chichicatenango in fron…
Market in Chichicatenango in front…
Market in Chichicatenango in fron…
Market in Chichicatenango in front…
Market in Chichicatenango in fron…
masks at the Market. i only saw tu…
masks at the Market. i only saw t…
Market in Chichicatenango
Market in Chichicatenango
A Saint taken to the market street…
A Saint taken to the market stree…
The Saint looked squalid. This was…
The Saint looked squalid. This wa…
Other market scene
Other market scene
The only picture I took inside of …
The only picture I took inside of…
Chichicastenango
photo by: lucian_32y