The Streets of Chichicastenango: A Photo Essay.

By Posted in - Central America & Photo Journal & Travel Blog on February 7th, 2013

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If you are traveling through Guatemala, Chichicastenango (nicknamed: Chichi) should be on your list of places to visit, especially on Thursdays and Sundays when the indigenous town holds its famous market.

Chichicastenago is known for its K’iche’ Maya culture, whose colorful clothing lights up the city, and on market days the whole town is alive with vendors selling everything from handicrafts to handmade textiles. We were fortunate it enough to visit Chichi on a market day during our volunteer trip with Cooperative for Education.

One of my favorite sights in Chichi is Santo Tomas, a 400-year old church built atop a Pre-Columbian temple platform. It’s whitewashed walls provide the perfect backdrop for the vibrant market which sprawls out in front of it. K’iche’ Maya priests still perform rituals on the church’s stairs where incense, sage and candles are burned. The 18 stone stairs leading to the church, each represent one month of the Maya calendar.

Look up Chichi on the internet and you are bound to find lots of wonderful colorful photos of the town. We, however, chose to go a different way. We wanted to showcase life uninterrupted by cameras. I wanted to shoot street style, which is not only my favorite style but a perfect choice for the crazy market. Going BW and zapping the color out of Chichicastenago was a natural choice so that your eye would be drawn to the people and not distracted by the radiating colors of the market.

These are some of my favorite photos from Guatemala.

Welcome to ChiChi.

 

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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!

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(11) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Brandon Elijah Scott -

    February 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Interesting! I love the B&W photos accompanying the post. Cheers!

    • Bethany -

      February 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Brandon!

  • David M -

    February 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Great shots but I can just see the colour popping out of these images. Why oh why are they monochrome?

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Hi David, well I chose to keep them BW because I felt the colors were just to distracting and my focus was more on the people and their faces. Ultimately, I just liked them better this way. 🙂

  • Steve -

    February 10, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Good post, I’ve been to Chichicastenango & I been to Chichi cemetary, I found it bit unusual, all the tombs are above ground at this cemetery which marks graves in a variety of ways, some with brightly colored miniature churches and others as mounds with name bearing crosses or piles of rock.

  • Dariece – Goats On The Road -

    February 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    You have such a great eye for photos! These shots are really good, I really like the one of the woman looking out from behind the purse. It seems like you guys love Guatemala, we’ll have to put that on our list of places to see!
    Cheers.

    • Bethany -

      February 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Dariece! That photo of the women behind the purse is one of my favorites from this set too!

  • Adam -

    February 11, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I have seen as well as read about your attachment with Guatemala and its people. I feel you share a very close bond with that place. All your posts about Guatemala depict something surprisingly different about the place. I like these pictures in this post very much, especially the way the pictures have come out and the expression on the faces of the people, very innocent.

  • Karol -

    February 12, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Thank you for the walk back in time, reminding me if my trip to Chichi with COED. The faces are beautiful and haunting in black and white!

  • Anita -

    June 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Love this article and the photos. I’ve been to Chici some years ago and totally agree with your writing! 🙂

  • Julie Sheridan -

    August 5, 2013 at 1:26 am

    I was in Chichi a few weeks back, working with Casa Alianza in Guatemela. What an incredible place. I loved the burning of incense at the side of the market, just outside the church, to chase bad spirits away. Well done on the photos, they’re gorgeous!