A fantastic Journey through South-Mexico !!!

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We entered the Chiapas district  and visit the centre of San Cristóbal de las Casas. The city is founded in 1528.
San Cristóbal lies 2300 meters above sea level. The city gives you a cosy and colonial feeling. It can cool down considerably at night.

On the right the Catedral in MAYA-colours.


De Zócalo, where we will be well off.


The inner court of our hotel.

We thought this was the most beautiful hotel of our whole journey.
Beautiful, thorough, colonial and attractive arranged.


The inner court from our hotel, seen from the roof.


Today visiting two Indian villages are on the program. 9.30 departure to the first village, San Juan Chamula. The village has 1 burned down church from 1600 and a new church from the 18th century. The women carry rough cuffs of black wool, a broad belt and blue or white blouse with short sleeves and stitching. The men carry white cotton trousers, shirt and wools coat. Chamula is spiritually and closed village. All modern influences are kept out and everyone gets a house and food. The women keep themselves busy all day with weave of the costumes and the men with amusing the gods. They do this through exuberant rituals with music, fire work and a lot of yelling. The whole day long they drink coca cola and belch. (To purify their body from evil spirits.). If possibly they drink much alcohol. For making the rituals more exuberantly and therefore more amusing for the Gods. Also alcohol is drunk to make confessing a lot easier. The village has a spiritual LEADER whom each year is chosen again. You must be very good to become spiritually LEADER, and especially have money, to provide the whole village alcohol, food, shelter and especially many rituals. Since the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century there has been taken place a bizarre mixture of Catholicism and traditional Maya religions. They don't adore Jesus but Johannes the Baptist whereas the black Madonna is their patroness.  And in Chamula they doesn't get married but the get baptized.

The graveyard of Chamula.
In the background we see the burned down church from the16th century.



Indians believe that your soul is taken away if you photograph them. But that does not apply to all Indians. This family didn't make any problem of it. In fact, they even offered it to us to be photographed. Of course for a couple pesos!!


These 2 spinners also didn't mind to be photographed. However they didn't look into the camera!!!





The coloured market of Cholula with on the background the Indian church.



License plate from distrito Chiapas.


This church is something special. There cannot be filmed or photographed.

Therefore we go quietly and cautiously into the church. Behind the small church door a strange dark world hide itself. The church floor has been strewn with a carpet full of pine-needles and leaves. We smell the intense fragrance of Copal incense and resin, which fills the church. There sounds lamentation and crying and murmuring prayer. The high wooden ceiling is jet-black through the dens smoke of hundreds of candles which burn on the floor and on tables. At the walls we see dozens of large pictures of Roman Catholic saints who here are honoured as Gods. Ceremonies are carried out. We have observed one. A family, father mother and children

<----- read further.
One prays and mutters lyrics. The mother holds a chicken. Why does one pray? Assume they have a sick child. Through praying they transfer the sickness of the child to the chicken. Then the chicken is killed by the woman. This happens discreetly.  Well, if the chicken is dead, the sickness is also dead/gone. Further the chicken is buried on the sacred mountain, where nobody of outside is allowed to go there. After the ceremony everything is cleaned up and someone else can continue another ceremony.


We drive to the 2nd village, San Lorenzo Zinacantán, another typical Chiapas village that has also its own religious conviction. It is much quieter here. Thhe village is also more wealthy and cleaner than Chamula. In the previous village, there were rather many tourists, here nothing. Costume is here totally different; more coloured. We visit the white church. Simple, but the altar is coloured. With flickering lights...

We go to a house where a woman bakes tortillas on a large plate. Then she fills the tortilla with cheese and now you have a so called quesadilla. Moreover we can compose our own tortilla with among other things like vegetables, sauce, chicken, tomato herbs, chilly and beans.


Anita prepares me to be a "witness"..
Anita (20) is a little girl from Chamula. She is intelligent, and speaks without accent words Dutch. She goes regularly to San
Cristóbal to sell stuff. 
She wants to develop more, but she will not get the chance. With her roots she will never be able to get a good job.
That's the way it goes, here in Mexico.


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Tot nu toe betreft het een viertal vakanties: Suriname, Egypte, Peru, Bolivia en Mexico. Verder een kort fotoverslag van de zonsverduistering in 1999 te noord-frankrijk in de buurt van het plaatsje Spincourt. Er is een mogelijkheid om mijn gastenboek te tekenen. Deze homepage is ontworpen door Sander van Kuppevelt (sandervk).