Monday, May 4, 2009

we're getting closer

As we drive further south into Mexico, it becomes more and more obvious that we're nearing closer and closer to Guatemala. Here in the highlands of Chiapas the cool temps and indigenous influence really make it feel that way. While there are subtle differences between San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico and Antigua, Guatemala, the overall general feeling of the two towns are quite similar. As far as we noticed, a major plus about San Cristobal is that there appears to be less tourists around.

the pedestrian zone makes for easy strolling

After our first evening of camping, we threw in the towel (I wasn't about to bathe in what they had to offer) and headed for Bela's cute B&B (thanks to Tom & Kelsey's recommendation). Bela has been a wonderful host and her B&B is in a great location, within walking distance to all that San Cristobal has to offer. We highly recommend checking her out if you're looking for a quaint, comfortable place to sleep, with the best breakfast and hottest shower in Chiapas.

Bela's B&B

We have spent our days visiting churches, touring local villages and partaking in some of the best shopping we've run into thus far. Ben even got to got to explore the countryside on bicycle.

we seem to have an affinity for visiting churches that require a climb

bright colors are everywhere

market art

In San Juan Chamula, a village about 10 km outside of San Cristóbal, we visited the main church where locals worship John the Baptist over Christ. The church is filled with colorful candles and smoke from burning incense. Although there are no pews, the floor of the church is covered with pine needles and medicine men are seen throughout diagnosing medical, psychological and "evil eye" afflictions. They perscribe remedies that involve lighting certain sizes and colors of candles, specific flowers & feather, and occasionally a live chicken. Families are seen kneeling on the floor with their sacrificial items, candles stuck to the floor with melted wax, drinking cups of Posh (a sugar can based liquor) while chanting prayerts in Txotzil. Additionally the town does not all outside pilice or military in the village. Instead they have their own police force.

San Jan Chamula

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