Episode Extra: A Walk Through the Colorful Cemetery of Chichicastenango, Guatemala

 

Chichicastenango (lovingly known as Chichi) is a town in the Guatemalan highlands, northwest of Guatemala City. It is most famous for it’s open-air outdoor market, and rightfully so. It’s a large colorful market full of beautiful handicrafts, wonderful food, tantalizing smells, and super friendly folks. We thoroughly enjoyed our time strolling through the market, and even bought one of our all time favorite little souvenirs there: some Guatemalan worry dolls! And we’re actually now selling these authentic, hand-made Guatemalan worry dolls that we absolutely love! They’d make a great gift for a loved one, or for yourself. Check ’em out here.

Anyway. So when our guide Carla suggested we leave the market early and tour the cemetery in Chichi, we were a bit hesitant. We hadn’t really done our research on the cemetery, and knew that the market was really bustling and we were pretty happy there. But one thing we’ve realized over our many years of traveling, is that local guides are seldom wrong about things they speak passionately about. And the cemetery in Chichi is no exception! Just take a gander at the short video from our visit above and tell us you don’t agree.

It certainly is one of the most colorful cemeteries anywhere in the world, largely in part to the fact that families re-paint the mausoleums every year before All Saints Day. And in fact, many locals in Chichi still hold pre-Christian beliefs of their Mayan ancestors, which we witnessed as we watched a local woman burn incense as an offering, Carla explained to us that it was all in fact a celebration, and not looked upon as a sad thing in the local culture, because the Mayans believe their loved ones are very much in the afterlife. In a better place. Beautiful stuff.

So if you find yourself in Chichi and you want to see one of the prettiest, most colorful cemeteries in Central America, stop in for a visit. You won’t regret it. We certainly didn’t!

Cheers y’all! Safe and happy travels!

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