Market day in Chichicastenango

Today I was up before sunrise to go to the famous market in Chichicastanango. I rode in the back of a pickup truck watching the sun slowly rise on the volcanoes of Lake Atitlan as the truck zigzagged up the steep cliff to Solala. The air was crisp and clear. Two hours and a couple of buses later, I arrived in Chichicastango.

I followed the crowds to the main square that is the centre of the market and is also where the Church of San Tomas is. Although ostensibly a Catholic church, much of the activity at this church involves rituals dating back to the Mayas. On the stone steps leading up to the church a number of Indian women sold flowers. A fire burned incense filling the air with fragrant smoke, and men swung tins containing burning more incense. Groups of men dressed in costume and belonging to cofradias paraded from the church and performed rituals in the street.

I spent a number of hours photographing the action before browsing through the market. There were many colourful cloths, clothing, bags, masks, fruit, vegetables and other items. I bought a mask, and was tempted to buy more if not for the problem of having to carry things for the rest of my trip.

About Richard McGuire
Richard McGuire is a part-time photographer and photography enthusiast based on Ottawa, Canada.

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