The most famous of the Guatemalan highland village markets, and probably the most famous market in Central America (& certainly the most photographed), is the one in Chichicastenango, or Chichi for short. On Thursday & Sunday, market days, the local indigenous people, mostly descendants of the K’iche’ Maya people, come down from the nearby hills to sell everything from kitchenware & handicrafts to jumpers & live turkeys. I paid a visit to the market today and it proved to be the same assault-on-the-senses & the same photographic challenge that the market in Solola was a few days ago.
On the steps of the 1540 Iglesia De Santo Tomas (Church of Saint Thomas). The church, which overlooks the bulk of the Chichi market, is a distinctive whitewashed church dedicated to the Catholic rite but also used by the local Mayan worshippers – the steps fronting the church serve the same purpose as those steps leading to the summit of a Mayan pyramid. For much of the day, and especially on market days, the steps are crowded with flower sellers & the area smoulders with copal incense while prayer leaders swing censers containing incense and chant magic words in honour of the ancient Mayan calendar and their ancestors. It’s quite the scene & it was the photographic highlight of my trip to Chichi. Chichicastenango (Chichi) (), Guatemala. May 23rd 2013.
Video || Chichicastenango (Chichi), Guatemala
Short video as captured from the steps of Iglesia De Santo Tomas (Church of Saint Thomas).
Market day in Chichi, Guatemala. May 23rd 2013.
’du yus pikin glish? I like this. Being the most famous market in Guatemala (& Central America) means Chichi is easily the most popular market with those of my ilk – the tourist. While not totally absent in other markets, t-shirts aimed at tourists are easily found among the produce & handmade Mayan crafts at the Chichi market. Chichi, Guatemala. May 23rd 2013.
Freight moving on the streets of Chichi, Guatemala. May 23rd 2013.