Santo Tomás Chichicastenango

Santo Tomás Chichicastenango
Photo by: chensiyuan, Creative Commons

Santo Tomás Chichicastenango or simply Chichicastenango is one of the most visited towns in the country of Guatemala. Popularly known for its cultural K’iche’ Maya way of living. Besides its quite complex yet catchy name, Chicicastenango is more than just a tourist spot remembered for its name.

What makes Chichicastenango a great tourist attraction is that it has market days where vendors sell different items that are natural and handmade. Besides the food that is mixed with Guatemala’s most exquisite herbs and spices, wild flowers, uniquely-designed pots, medicinal herbs, cultural incenses and domesticated animals are also sold here. Tourists are definitely in for a delightful treat. Festivities are also held in the square. Dances and rituals are done, as well as the serving of different delicacies.

Tourists can do their sight-seeing right after shopping because the church of Santo Tomás is just beside the central market. The church is already 400 years old, which makes it one historical church and a witness to the town’s significant events. Rituals are held here by K’iche’ Maya priests.

Lying beneath the historical cathedral is the Chichicastenango Regional Museum or Museo Regional. The museum still has the most precious ancient artifacts and materials. Some of these artifacts are made of precious stones like jade and ceramic. Spears and arrow heads are also present in the area, which attests to the fact that it had been a witness to the bloodiest wars during the early times of the town. The museum is frequently referred to as Museo Arqueológico Rossbach. This is because a large portion of the collection and artifacts were donated by Idelfonso Rossbach – a German Franciscan priest who held masses and lived in the town during the 1900s.

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