Santiago Atitlan, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - March 8, 2019: Tourists visit the Catholic church & locals relax on steps & walk through the plaza in the largest town on Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands.

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Santiago Atitlán

Santiago Atitlán is the largest of the lake communities, with a strong indigenous identity. Many atitecos (as its people are known) proudly adhere to a traditional Tz'utujil Maya lifestyle. Women wear purple-striped skirts and huipiles embroidered with colored birds and flowers, while older men still wear lavender or maroon striped embroidered pants. The town's cofradías (brotherhoods) maintain the syncretic traditions and rituals of Maya Catholicism. There's a large arts and crafts scene here too. Boatbuilding is a local industry, and rows of rough-hewn cayucos (dugout canoes) are lined up along the shore. The liveliest days to visit are Friday and Sunday, the main market days, but any day will do.


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