Saturday, March 14, 2015

Chiapas - The Village of Zinacantan

While in San Cristobal, within the markets and walking the streets, I kept noticing women - young and old - wearing rebozos in shades of navy and purple.  Extremely unusual colors for Mexico!  Where were they from, I asked?  Zinacantan.  Aaah, had to go there.

As we were descending the steps of the bus upon arriving in Zinacantan, our tour guide said, "Remember, do NOT take photos of the children.  There is a big chance your camera will be confiscated and you will be arrested if you do so".  And the photo below is what the first "Ugly American" did............I included the photo though to show that the children dress indigenously as well as the adults.   Why not take photos of the children?  Because the people of Chiapas had heard that their children could be kidnapped and their organs sold for money by people not from Mexico! 

 As we were heading to Zinacantan, which is located in a valley surrounded by limestone cliffs, I noticed many many greenhouses.  I was not aware that this area raises a lot of cut flowers for export as well as for use by the people in their rituals.  Sorry I did not get a photo of them at the time.
 The small market had all kinds of weaved goods hanging up for sale.  The colors of Chiapas are magnificent.
For me, a lesson that all colors can go together, for sure.
 Prior to arriving in the village, where we each paid 20 pesos (about $1.20USD) to enter, these girls were walking home.  Teenagers in their rebozos denoting their village.  How sweet!  The fee to enter the village helps to maintain the town.  What a great idea~!
 A woman was showing a demonstration of backstrap weaving.  How they sit on their legs like that for hours at a time is a mystery.  Many beautiful items take months to make.  There were many women weaving.
This village also is very careful about photographing the church.  There were elders watching to make sure people did not photograph inside or even  the exterior of the church.  Hence, no photos.  But, it was exquisite inside.  All wood floors, if memory serves me correctly.  With Chiapas being very wooded, it makes sense.  AND the flowers!  At that point I did not know that the major industry, other then weaving, is the growing of flowers.  There were thousands of flowers lining the walls, altar and side altars.  The fragrance was lovely.

This village is where the truce for the Caste War was signed in 1869.  Here, in the middle of a serene and tranquil valley.  How appropriate.

As we left Zinacantan, the above cross greeted us.  I love the plastic bottles which held fresh flowers at some point.  Again, the cross is in the turquoise green color that is prevalent in Chiapas.


Retired Teacher said...

Very interesting posts on Chamula and Zincantan.
I visited them both when I was in Chiapas. In Chamula I truly felt as if I had been transported to some other country, or even some parallel universe.
I took a picture of the exterior of the church in Zinacantan... nobody had told me otherwise and there was no one by the church. It wasn't until I got nearer that I saw a sign saying "no photos".

Hannibal said...

Your blog makes me see there are another worlds beside our "civilization".Muchas Gracias.

Croft said...

We really enjoyed out short stay in San Cristobal even though I was sick half of the time. Like you, I noticed the variety of colors everywhere. The Coffee Museum was a treat as well.

Anonymous said...

After reading your opener, I decided to look up Zinacantán on Google Maps, just to get a sense of exactly where it is. Then I thought I'd look at the satellite view, but I figured that based on what you wrote there'd be no street view. But surprise! There is Google Streetview of Zinacantán, so I've done a little virtual tour around the square.

Interesting place. Thanks for sharing.

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we too were very impressed by the colors of Chiapas.

Babs said...

Bill, now I want to see your photo of the church in Zinacantan! Lucky you...we were watched the whole time we were in the village. But, I certainly wasn't offended by that.

Hannibal, glad you could see another "civilization" - a very ancient one at that.

Babs said...

Croft, nothing worse then being sick while traveling. YUK. I didn't see the Coffee Museum. I had been to a finca in Guatemala.
I was shocked at the amount of work involved in making coffee. I'm surprised it doesn't cost a fortune for a pound!

Babs said...

Kim, can you imagine a Google map of Zinacantan! Next thing you know Trip Advisor will be telling you which hut to go to for a meal. Oh please, don't tell me it is so......

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