Day One in Guatemala – A Trip to Chichicastenango

We started out our visit with a day trip to a traditional Mayan market in Chichicastenango. The views along the way were breathtaking. Surrounded by valleys & mountains, the narrow cobblestone streets of Chichicastenango were filled with crowds of vendors and shoppers. I almost caved at the beginning as I found it to be an assault on every sense. Mayans flocked to us as soon as we exited the bus. They give very little space and shove blankets, jewellery & crafts in your face and beg you to buy. It was overwhelming at first. I took a deep breath and dove in! After a break (and a cerveza) at a small restaurant within the market, I was able to take it all in and enjoy the ride.

Flowers for sale

Waiting for the bus

How did the chicken bus cross the road?

Almost every window is a piece of art

I never did get a ride in one of these.

I never did get a ride in one of these.

I enjoyed the Mayan clothing, layers and layers of rich colour

I enjoyed the Mayan clothing, layers and layers of rich colour

If three's a crowd....

For a bag lover, this place could be considered a nightmare. The choices were endless and I loved everything!

For a bag lover, this place could be considered a nightmare. The choices were endless and I loved everything!

We stopped for a small bite, beer and a breather from the chaos.  A tiny little old man came in looking for hand-outs. I couldn't resist and we gave him our left over dishes

We stopped for a small bite, beer and a breather from the chaos. A tiny little old man came in looking for hand-outs. I couldn’t resist and we gave him our left overs.

Gallo is the Guatemalan choice

Diane, Shirley & Tracey

Diane, Shirley & Tracey

Everything is art

The Mayans bring offerings and sometimes burn a chicken for the gods. The 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Maya calendar year.

The Mayans bring offerings and sometimes burn a chicken for the gods. The 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Maya calendar year.

This little girl wondered right in the middle of us as we huddled at the top of the stairs of the church overlooking the market. She was curious about my camera and didn't seem at all shy. - Pure curiosity

This little girl wondered right in the middle of us as we huddled at the top of the stairs of the church overlooking the market. She was curious about my camera and didn’t seem at all shy. – Pure curiosity

The 400-year old church of Santo Tomás is built on top of a temple and the steps lead to a temple of the pre-Hispanic Maya civilization still highly regarded. Maya priests still use the church for their rituals. We saw a gentleman burning incense  at the entrance. (He didn't like his photo taken).

The 400-year old church of Santo Tomás is built on top of  a temple of the pre-Hispanic Maya civilization still highly regarded. Maya priests still use the church for their rituals. We saw a gentleman burning incense at the entrance. (He didn’t like his photo taken).

from the top of the stairs of the church

from the top of the 18 stairs of the church Surrounded by valleys & mountains, the narrow cobblestone streets of Chichicastenango were filled with crowds of vendors and shoppers. I almost caved at the beginning as I found it to be an assault on every sense. Mayons flocked to us as soon as we exited the bus. They give very little space and shove blankets, jewellery & crafts in your face and beg you to buy. It was overwhelming at first. I took a deep breath and dove in! After a break (and a cerveza) at a small restaurant within the market, I was able to take it all in and enjoy the ride.

Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango,known for its traditional K’iche’ Maya culture

Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango,known for its traditional K'iche' Maya culture

They do love their paint. It makes everything pop.

They do love their paint. It makes everything pop.

I was in constant awe of the dwellings i could see as we passed

I was in constant awe of the dwellings i could see as we passed in the bus

I always wanted to know what it was they were growing. Everything looked 10 times the size of anything we grown in Ontario. I did find out that it's due to the volcanic ash in the soil that makes everything huge and more flavourful. The carrots were the size of baseball bats

I always wanted to know what it was they were growing. Everything looked 10 times the size of anything we grown in Ontario. I did find out that it’s due to the volcanic ash in the soil that makes everything huge and more flavourful. The carrots were the size of baseball bats

I couldn't keep my eyes of the scenery

I couldn’t keep my eyes off the scenery

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