Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I spent a whole week in Panajachel, known by the backpackers as “Gringotenango” for the so many foreigners, mainly from USA, who visit the place at the shores of the idyllic Lake Atitlan.
I found a nice room with views over the lake. That place would be my base for my daily excursions. Furthermore, food in its restaurant was delicious and cheap.
During that week I did not stop to visit small villages nearby, such as San Pedro, San Juan, San Antonio, etc. In them they sell exotica fruits and fantastic masks and other handicrafts.
Some days we (I was travelling with a girlfriend from Canada) had to rent a boat to reach very small villages in the other side of the lake, to where we could not access overland because there were no connecting roads.
One of the best excursions that I made based on Panajachel was to Chichicastenango and its exotic churches during the day of the market. I think that half of the visitors that day in Chichicastenango were gringos from Panajachel who had the same idea than me to visit that market.
In the market one could by colorful clothes, hens, original wooden masks and other Indians handicrafts very original.
The most impressive was the service in the Church. It was a mixture between Christianity and old Indian beliefs. It was curios to note that the face of Jesus, Virgin Mary and other saints were those of the Indians.
The old women were on their knees in front of the spreading sandal with the help of a metallic box of sardines.
The eighth day I took a bus to El Salvador.
Date posted: August 2013
Have you been to Town of Chichicastenango? Share your experiences!