chichicastenango mayan best market guatemala

August 15, 2023

Chichicastenango, a Mayan Heritage in Guatemala

By master

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Chichicastenango is one of the most important towns in Guatemala, also considered a treasure of Mayan culture for its history and traditions. It is as well home of the Quiché civilization, that is the largest group of Mayan population.

Back in time Chichicastenango was consider a main trading center for all Mayans. This was also the place where the original Popol Vuh (the Mayan bible) was found on 18th century. The discovery of Mayan advisory book was excellent for all scientist in terms to understand this extraordinary culture.  

The Popol Vuh is a valuable source to understand the Maya religion, culture, and history. It narrates the origin of the world, humanity, and natural threats from the mystic perspective of the Maya civilization.

It was written by 1550, in Quiché language using the modern Spanish alphabet. This book was hidden from the Spanish during the colonization. Until 1701, when a Spanish priest named Francisco Ximénez, gained the trust of the community and was authorized to see the book. He diligently copied it in Quiché and translated it into Spanish.

This transcription allowed to Chichicastenango town to preserve its indigenous authenticity, and religious rituals, performed almost every day .  It’s remarkable that locals from this region are loyal to their culture which makes this place unique  and one of the purest areas of the Guatemalan culture and Maya civilization.

While visit Chichicastenango, Santo Tomás Church is a must see visit place, as it is related with the Mayan culture, because the Popol Vuh was found there. This church was designed and constructed , housing a staircase of 18 steps that represent the Mayan calendar and months.

Until now, Santo Tomas Church is the main place where Mayan prayer leaders practice their rituals, especially on Sundays, when these priests burn incense and devote themselves to their ancestors.

If you visit this mystic area of Guatemala, you will find yourself surrounded not just by wide forests on both sides of the highway, but also by the rich and colorful Mayan culture.

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