Chichicastenango, Antigua Guatemala
We drove 3 and a half hours from Antigua to "Chichi" on Thursday, although I heard that it is best to visit on Sundays. It seems as if time has stopped here. This village is very different than Antigua and there is much indigenous presence.
Actually, what is most interesting about Chichi is NOT the famed market but the activity on the incense filled steps of La Iglesia de Santo Tomas and inside. This circa 1540's church is situated right alongside the market. On the steps you will witness indigenous Mayan women "walking" back and forth on their knees praying aloud and swinging cans poked with holes filled with incense.
Upon entering the church you will see various 3 inch platforms nailed to the floor along the main aisle where worshippers place lit candles. What I witnessed seemed much more Mayan than Roman Catholic.
Chichi is truly a place to witness the fusion of beliefs.
This was a two hour drive to the heart of the highland Mayan people. Wonderful prices in the market. Well worth the trip, watched a Mayan shaman using corn to tell fortunes. I had two candles light for me by a shaman.
Said a few extra prayers since I was flying home.