Zinacantan & Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico
Back to Chiapas Inland Trip
Both of these Tzotzil villages can be visited by local bus and are worth the trip. It's a small uphill climb on narrow roads; the buses will
be shared with locals who commute from their communities to San Cristobal where they tend the produce stands and as work as
street vendors. The buses (which are really small vans) run when they are full so be prepared to wait for your trip. Generally, the wait
is no longer than 20 minutes.

Each village has their own local costumes that highly distinctive. It's a way for them to identify each other and their significant village
location. The men from San Juan Chamula wear homespun tunics of white wool while the women wear white or blue blouses and
woollen skirts. The men of Zinacantan have pink tunics with bright floral embroidery and round, flat hats. The women wear pink or
purple embroidered shawls over embroidered blouses. During our trips to the market we saw several other people dressed in a  
variety of color...beautiful. The women and girls have long,thick,  shiny black hair. Most of them wear it to their waist in a braid.

Regardless of tribe or location,these people dislike and avoid having their photos taken. Any photos that we took were either granted
by an individual or were framed as a general photo of an specific area.  

These tribes are very religious and have unique practices. In San Juan Chamula this includes worshipers kneeling with their faces to the
pine needle floor while surrounded by burning incense and candles. Chamulans consider San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist)
above Christ; his image is the one that take precedence in the church. San Lorenzo Zinacantan offer pine branches and geraniums in
their rituals. Photography is forbidden inside their churches and are punishable by jail sentence.

Each village has a weekly market where they sell their handmade crafts including textiles and  jewelry, fresh produce and meats/poultry.
The people are extremely poor and keep to themselves. They strive to maintain ancient traditions while adapting to the tourism from
the outside world.
Kids are the same world round.
Fresh popcorn. Popped in a kettle on a charcoal fire.
Zinacantan's most productive product is fresh flowers.
After we bought four handmade dolls this seller agreed to a picture
with Bridge.
Guys just wanna 'hang out'.
Each village has it's own distinctive dress.
Chamula's world famous church.
Traditional garb in Chamula.
We bought some beautifully embroidered table linen from
this young lady. The skirt is sheep hide with fur.
The remains of an old Spanish church in
This lad was mighty proud of his lamb.
Every Sunday there is a bazaar at the Chamula
Some of the hand loomed linens for sale in the villages.
Most of the indigenous people  hide their faces when a
camera is present. This young albino woman was no
These young ladies enjoy eating their popcorn almost as much as
selling it. You can bet John got his fair share!
I always wonder how the sheep know which way home
is....and, why did they go for a stroll to begin with?