Day 6: Chichicastenango
On Thursday we packed up our bags and went on a 4 hour ride to the town of Chichicastenango. We did the touristy thing for the day… we went on tours of their churches and cemetery as well as went to the market. This is the biggest market place in Guatemala and on Thursdays and Sundays people from all over come to sell their products.
We started out with the tours…learned about the St. Thomas church and saw people worshipping and doing sacrifices on the stairs. We learned more about the Mayan calendar (the world isn’t ending this December, just the end of this calendar. A new 5000 year calendar will start on 12/22/12). We toured the cemetery that looked a little like “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland. We watched Mayan priests “call on spirits to answer prayers”. It was an interesting experience. A lot of culture. A lot of insight into what these people believe… it’s dark and sad. I think I was praying for them to know Jesus the entire time I was there.
After all the touring, we had lunch and went shopping in the market (in the monsoon!). There you can barter on prices… but you have to convert US money to Quetzals so you know to get a good price. It was $1 US for every 7.75Q’s. These little kids follow you around trying to get you to buy their things, trying to guilt you into it so they can eat the next day. I ended up getting some nice stuff… my family enjoyed what I brought back to them.
|Chichi Hotel where we ate lunch. It had a beautiful garden area.|
|The hill to the cemetery.|
|The Chichi Cemetery|
|St. Thomas Church. The Mayan church was built underneath this one, but it was buried by a volcano eruption. This Catholic church was built on top of it, however the Mayans still worship their gods on the steps.|
|Product section of the market|
|Food sacrifice, trying to summons dead ancestors to answer prayers|
|These are the taxis in the area.|