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Chichicastenango

Rem Sapozhnikov, Tiwy.com (2004)

The population of the urban village Chichicastenango numbers not more than 9 thousand dwellers. It is situated 140 km from the Guatemala-City in the mountains (at the height of 2 thousand metres). Chichicastenango is famous for its trade market that takes place every fortnight on Thursdays and Sundays. Then the town is crowded with merchants and buyers from the whole vicinity as well as the whole army of tourists. The market here has existed from before the Columbus times the fact that gives Chichi, as it is nicknamed by the Guatemalans, a special legendary gleam. The Catholic father of the town is Saint Thomas, in whose honour there is a church of Saint Thomas. It was raised on the ancient foundation of the Maya holy place at the footage of which the Indian handiwork trade takes place. Poor the tourist falling short for money to make shopping as he is sure to be in long pains remembering the beautiful things made by Indians he failed to buy.
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The tourist stop "Katok" and its decorative elements. It is half way to Chichicastenango.

On the way to Chichicastenango there is no time for bore, as the souvenir trade start from the far away.

The shopping street.

There are so many tourists in the town of Chichicastenango, especially those from the USA, that is it often called Gringotenango.

Iglesia de Santo Tomas The church of Saint Thomas surrounded by Indian voodoo doctors.
Inside there is a synthesis of paganism and catholicism.

The market ecstasy view from the steps of the church of Saint Thomas.

The picturesque profusion "made in Guatemala".

In Chichi you have to bargain till the end that is the rule of trade. The primary price is, as a rule, higher two or three or even fourfold!

.. ...

The sounds of the folk instrument marimba remind us of a xylophone.

Mayan-Inn Hotel Santo Tomas The hotels "Mayan-Inn" and "Santo Tomas" are for the well-to-do tourists. But there is in Chichi a plenty of quite decent hotels for the student-like tourists.

El Calvario chapel is surrounded by the street shopping rows and to break through them is quite an ordeal. However, it is a useless hope to take a rest on the pew. Marshmallow shoes are prohibited here. It is for Indian prayers only. There is no entrance even for a padre! There are Indian fortune-tellers, peais and voodoo doctors on the footsteps of the Calvario chapel.

At the streets of Chichicastenango aloof from the market trading.

The Indian dental clinic.

Bus is the main means of transport in both Chichi and the whole Guatemala.

Tourists are seldom to call on the Chichi suburbs. It is here that other street trading takes place, for instance, pig trading.

Parrots and guacamayos are the pets No. 1 for the Guatemalans, cats and dogs are less popular.

The Indian cemetery view in Chichi.



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