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Voyage to Chiapas – Day 6

03/03/2013
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Hola amigos, Nancy here! I will be filling you in on the adventures today as Barry is holed up in the room with a stomach bug.

MapToday about half of the group traveled on a road named La Garita to the community of Tenejapa. It is located in the mountains just 28 km east of San Cristóbal and is known for its textiles. The drive to Tenejapa took us through some beautiful mountain scenery. On the way we saw the incredible Romerillo Cemetery, with a line of huge blue and green Maya crosses overlooking the simple tombstones.  The road continued on around Mount Tzontehuitz, at 9,514 feet the highest mountain in the Chipas highlands, then dropped down into Tenejapa.

P1000925The main square directly in front of the church was already filled with people. Immediately we noticed that the clothing the men wore was much different than what we had seen on other villages. Inside the church, the villagers were sitting along the walls on long benches and chairs. The floors of the church were covered in pine needles like what we had seen in San Juan Chamula. The saints were all ready for the procession around town, dressed in their finest. One of the elders was kind enough to explain to us who each of the saints were.

P1000900P1000928Soon after we left the church we heard music coming from a side street.   A band of men in traditional dress playing traditional instruments marched to the front of the church.  During a short musical interlude provided by young men with more contemporary instruments; several types of horns, guitars, fiddles, etc. during which “pox”  was passed around along with large bottles of SOL beer, the ever present fireworks started.  This was the first time I had actually seen these large, homemade fireworks set off.  Let’s just say, I was amazed these guys still had all their fingers!!  It also sort of explained why everyone was smoking cigarettes.

P1000921P1000934The procession of the saints left the church and started making its way around the village.  A few of us decided to follow along for the full experience.  Marina had convinced Sebastian, a local musician and music teacher to chat with us about the town.  He was kind enough pose for pictures showing off his colorful clothes.  His focus was on music and the traditional instruments.

P1000935P1000937Unfortunately, we were a day early to experience the Thursday market that this village is known for but luckily we were able to visit Sna Jolobil, an award-winning cooperative which was founded in Tenejapa.  The excellent quality and unique style of its textiles is what the town is known for.  The COOP has a small workshop/store just a few doors from the main church and our luck held as María Meza, the cooperative founder, was in and working.  María was kind enough to show us her work but we were not allowed to photograph her, especially when she was working on her loom.  Here are photos of Cindy modeling handbags offered at the shop and Janean modeling other items.

One of Marina’s students that took this trip last year described the visit best…you feel like you are in the middle of a National Geographic special.  It was an incredible day and I am just sorry Barry missed out on it. 

Day 7 – Toniná and Agua Azul

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Corrine Gogal permalink
    12/03/2013 08:26

    I love your blog and reading about your adventure to Chiapas, etc. I noticed the link to Day 7 isn’t active. Looking forward to reading about the rest of the journey. Thanks.

    • 12/03/2013 08:43

      Day 7 is being written as well as evenings in San Cristobal – 5 star dining and a class in coffee making.

  2. barb croft permalink
    12/03/2013 17:41

    Really enjoyed the read! As we are planning a trip Palenque, this has been just terrific to follow your adventures. Hopefully next year, we can follow your lead! Thanks!!!

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