Karen's Big Adventure travel blog

The market at Chchi

Selling fresh shrimp

She FORCED me to buy two, for too much. So I asked...

Instead of souvenirs, the Guatemalans buy things they need

Lots of empty containers for sale

On the Church steps. He's swinging a container of...?

Burning offerings at the bottom of the steps

Candles for burning inside the church, on the ground, on big stone...

The second, smaller church, across the square

She was there all day, collecting change from people who tok her...


Chichicastenango is known for one main thing: its HUGE market, which extends for blocks and occurs every Thursday and Sunday.

It attracts busloads of tourists and , consequently, is a very "touristy" experience. The vendors often quote high prices, hoping to get them, but will then drop their prices if they smell a sale. Some vendors are downright pushy. Especially little kids, who pull at your clothes demanding that you buy their little dolls, or wrist bracelets, or other trinkets.

Despite the way the market has evolved into a commercial experience, it is worth seeing. There are still "authentic" aspects.

Among them: The second thing ChiChi is reknowned for, which is its significant Mayan population. It's main church is a magnet for Mayan folks who perform ceremonies on the steps, and inside (you cant take photos inside). They burn dried husks of corn wrapped around an insense-like substance. In the church, they burn candles and ask for help with their problems. I was told the yellow candles are for when you are having trouble with a husband! It is evident that these believers are not putting on a show for tourists. They are sincere and devout and it is all quite fascinating.



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