Chichicastenango is home to what is surely the most colorful native market in North and Central America, perhaps in all the Americas. Market days are Sundays and Thursdays and we were able to time it right to arrive on Thursday morning. We were greeted by a hustling and bustling city, full of many sights, sounds, and smells. Maya craft sellers from across the highlands set up makeshift booths around the central plaza, spilling over on to sidewalks, the church steps, and up various side streets. The vendors sold a broad selection of Guatemalan handicrafts, ceramics, native textiles, fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Chichi may also be home to the most colorful cemetery; perched on a hill, the candy colored tombs are a site to see. We spent much of our time walking through this cemetery, admiring the natives appreciation for vibrant colors; each above ground tomb, a different design and color for each family or individual. We also witnessed traditional rituals performed on the alters in the cemetery-- the burning of all kinds of materials and even the sacrifice of a chicken.
One last, fresh squeezed watermelon drink on our journey through Central America.
Our last stop during our Holidays in Central America was the Quetzaltenango LDS Temple, recently dedicated in November 2011. The temple sits on top of a hill, above the busy city. We saw many beautiful churches during our travels but this ones beauty surpasses the rest. It does because of its sacredness as a dedicated House of God. It is amazing that we can travel to all parts of the world and find the LDS Church and Temples to attend. We are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives!
We were able to spend the night in church housing on the Temple grounds and do two sessions at the Temple before we had to leave.
Our Holidays in Central America has come to a close.
It was a remarkable journey through culture, history and nature we had never experienced before. It opened up our eyes and gave us new perspective and new appreciation for what we've been blessed with and for the world God has created. We are so thankful to have the opportunities to travel together; it is a bonding and learning experience for the two of us.
Thank you and so long Central America...