Weirdest and most fascinating church ever in San Juan Chamula

Today I went on a tour to San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán, both small villages close to San Cristobal. In Zinacantán que visited an indigenous family at their home. The mother was 56 years old and had 8 children. I was surprised about how happy they were, I didn’t understand what they were saying since they were speaking Tzozil (a maya language) but they were laughing a lot, telling each other stories or jokes I guess. :)

Mother and daughter making rugs

Mother and daughter making rugs

In zinacantán, a woman is making us tortillas in their kitchen. The white thing on the pan gives them kalcium, because they can't drink milk, they are laktos intolerant.

In zinacantán, a woman is making us tortillas in their kitchen. The white thing on the pan gives them calcium, because they can’t drink milk, they are lactose intolerant.

Later we went to San Juan Chamula, it’s a little special because it has an autonomous status in Mexico, there is no outside police or military in the village, they have their own police force. The church of San Juan Chamula was the weirdest experience I’ve ever had. It strictly prohibited to take pictures there, or even in the town, they can throw you out of the town or in jail if you take pictures. I could soo much have paid like 500 pesos to take a picture there.

Cementary with different colours crosses, representing if you died old or young, or if you are a woman or a man

Cementery with different colors of the crosses, representing if you died old or young, or if you are a woman or a man

The church of San Juan Chamula from the outside

The church of San Juan Chamula from the outside

The church is like a catholic church on the outside and with some similarities on the inside too, like there are catholic statues but with maya clothes instead. There are no benches, instead the floor of the church is covered with green pine boughs. Families kneel on the floor of the church on the grass-thing in front of hundreds of candles who are stuck on the floor with melted wax. They sing songs and pray. They drink cups of Posh, a liquor they have here, or some soda, like coca cola or pepsi. Every family has a lot of soda bottles, like coca-cola, fanta and sprite too, which they splash on the candles and also drink themselves… There are medicine men who helps curing ill people there too. They can do it with candles of specific colours and sizes, specific flowers, petals, feathers, or even chickens. I saw one medicine man help a little girl, he sort of swept the chicken around her body to take the illness away, and then he killed the chicken! Right there, in the church. It was so weird. I could have stayed for hours just watching, it was so rare and fascinating.

San Juan Chamula – picture taken from http://www.lavueltaalmundodebeayjordi.com/

After that, me and Giorgio, and italian guy who also was on the tour, went together to Chiapa Del Corzo and met up with Elena, the italian girl from yesterdays tour. :) We went together on a 2 hours boat ride through Canyon Sumidero, it was beautiful. We saw 2 crocodiles too!!

Canion Sumidero, Chiapa de Corzo

Canion Sumidero, Chiapa de Corzo

Cocodrile!!!

crocodile!!!

Canyon Sumidero, Chiapa de Corzo

Canyon Sumidero, Chiapa de Corzo

After that, I was really tired, I got home and slept a siesta. Then me, Erika and the two italians went out to a mezcaleria where Protestango where playing (an argentinian-spanish band). I met up with some people we got to know yesterday too, a Spanish guy, Miel, and a Argentinian guy, Duilio. They are also traveling the same route as me so we’ll probably see each other in different cities along the way :)

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