View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The indigenous town of San Juan Chamula

First things first... fundraising update!

As of this morning, we are at $4,281... well surpassing our original goal. Can we make it to $5,000? Maybe, or maybe not.... I like to hope that perhaps some of you are waiting until the last minute to surprise us with a big donation!

Today is in fact the last day to donate through our channels... we have to provide a cut off date in order to know what we can buy with the proceeds because Friday is shopping day!

So one last time... here is the way you can do it...

And to those of you who have done so... thank you so much. It is for a really good cause!

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Yesterday we did a day trip to three different attractions around the San Cristobal area. We set out at 9:00am and the first stop was the indigenous town of San Juan Chamula.

Chamula has an odd religious history. When the missionaries came to convert the people to Catholicism, it didn't quite take. Long story short, the current religion is a mix of Catholicism and Paganism.

And, the town itself is quite different. It is an autonomous region within Mexico and is self governing to a large extent. Outside police forces are not allowed in, and outsiders are not allowed to live there. Considering the area is about 75,000 people it's a large place for this to happen. In a town that size, there is only one small hotel.

First stop was the old church and graveyard.

The old church did not survive an earthquake many years ago.

The people could not understand why god would allow their place of worship to be destroyed by an earthquake, so the people got angry at god and did not rebuild this church.


The new church.

Tourists have to pay 25 pesos to enter the church. Inside, you are not allowed to take photos... ANY photos. 

The church plaza.

Some of the "donas"... religious leaders.

It helps to have a zoom lens!

Inside the church, there are thousands of candles. There are no church pews! Only pine needles covering the floor. There are about 30 glass fronted cabinets which contain statues of saints. However the saints are actually Mayan gods to the local people. 

People sit on the floor and brush away the pine needles and stick more candles on that area. They pour "pox" (a local cane liquor) in between the candles and drink some as well. We didn't see it this day, but Ruth and I have been here before where they sacrifice a chicken and rub the chicken egg on their body.

Very different.

Indigenous ladies.

San Juan Chamula.

Scenery along the way.

An interesting thing is happening here the last couple of years. There are some large ornate houses being built. Our driver and guide was telling us that these houses belong to the politicians in the area! Some things are the same all over the world.

These houses do not quite fit in with how the rest of the population live.

Rural folks.

Next stop was the town of Zinacantan where we stopped in to see some local backstrap weaving.

This little guy was having fun messing up Mom's stuff.

They cooked us some tacos.

Mona and Roger got into some local wedding gear!

Then we drove to the Parque Turistico Rancho Nuevo where there are a couple of caves to explore.

Ruth, Owenita, and Aron.

The first cave was not that good. Only a few worthwhile formations.

We almost didn't go in the second cave, but it only cost 20 pesos ($1.50 CAD, $1.15 USD), so we did it anyhow. It turned out the second cave was smaller and a shorter distance, but the formations were much better!

We went to a nice little restaurant for dinner called Kokono. Regional food, owned by a woman from San Juan Chamula. Very good!

Today, we meet up with Bob and Denise at the Sumidero Canyon. Ruth and I have done this boat trip twice before, and we are looking forward to doing it a third time!

PetFusion Memory Foam Dog Beds are on deal of the day... all sizes and colors.

And in Canada...


  1. Love, love, love this particular blog....the town history is very interesting as were the stalactites and stalagmites!

    1. Yes, the town history in San Juan Chamula is definitely very interesting and very different. This is our third time visiting these two towns and we always learn something new each time. We really wish that it had been market day there as well because then it would have been even better. The group really enjoyed their visit here.

      The cave here wasn't nearly as interesting as the one Paul saw on the second last day of our trip in Mexico last year but the second cave we saw here did have some neat formations inside.


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