Guatemala, Quiche Department, Chichicastenango, sunday market, maya textile

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Surrounded by valleys with mountains serrating the horizons, Chichicastenango can seem a world away from the rest of Guatemala. When its narrow cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs are enveloped in mist, it's downright magical. The crowds of crafts vendors and tour groups who flock in for the huge Thursday and Sunday markets lend it a lively commercial atmosphere. Masheños (citizens of Chichicastenango) adhere strongly to Indigenous religions and ceremonies, and the town's various cofradías (religious brotherhoods) hold processions in observance of their saints around the church of Santo Tomás.


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