San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Our trek from Palenque to San Cristobal took us from a  238' elevation along winding,
narrow mountainous roads to our colors. Each village had a church which that stood out
from miles away as we snaked along the roads on approach. The landscapes were lush
with green foliage and fresh clear water ran through the multiple rivers and streams.

This beautiful colonial town is the home to the ancestors of the Maya people along with
the Tzotziles and Tzeltales Indians. Several native languages are spoken here  with
Spanish as the  "business" language. San Cristobal has a bohemian feel; there are many
markets, stalls, restaurants and craft shops. The city was founded by the Spanish in
1528 and acted as an outpost which was governed by Guatemala. In 1545 the
Dominican monks arrived and declared San Cristobal their main base. Since then the city
has been infiltrated by "missionaries"  of many different religions, often resulting in
violent hostility. Thus, there are many churches of various denominations as well as
segregated neighborhoods in the city and the surrounding villages.

In 1994 the Zapatistas rebels chose San Cristobal as one of it's locations to launch a
revolution. The group had been formed to protest against the rich upper class Spanish
who strove to keep the indigenous Indians poor and uneducated. The Zapatistas took
over the government offices for several days before being driven out by the Mexican
Army. None the less, San Cristobal is now a prosperous city with an increasing middle
class.

Accommodations abound in all price ranges. The city is well maintained, clean and
absolutely beautiful! It is a safe city with very little crime.  It is so colorful!  The food is
excellent and varied, the prices are great. There is even a Burger King for those who've
been away from home too long. One of our favorites was Ristorante italiano da Angela.
Check out their website at
http://web.tiscalinet.it//ristoranteangelo or call them at
(967)678-49 46. Chiapas is a major growing region. The markets have an abundance of
fresh produce and flowers, all neatly displayed.  We checked into Planet Hostel
(
reserv@planethostel.com.mx), 5 easy blocks from the town square and a $2.00 cab ride
to the bus station.

We explored the city extensively and took local buses to the outlying villages. From here
we will let the pictures do the talking. Someday we will return to this area for an
extended period of time and do it justice. One could easily spend 6 months or more
without getting bored and/or seeing all the sites
Enjoy...we surely did!
The Doors of San Cristobal de Las Casas
Fourteen years after the 1994 Zapatista
revolution, leftist influence is still strong in the
area.
The Cathederals of San Cristobal de Las Casas
The downtown Catedral San Cristobal.
Flowers at the central market.
A definite European flavor.
Central San Cristobal.
There is nothing like fresh chicken for
dinner!
This guy from the local playhouse is supposed
to be representative of a Mayan official.
Activity at the central plaza.
Bridget was very popular at the square.
Occasionally you will see someone begging for
help
Beautiful display of chili peppers.
Sheared sheep fur is used to make skirts
Can you imagine those neck muscles from all the
weight?
Come on, try it you'll like it.
(chili flavored dried shrimp)
.
Children are transported in slings on the backs of indian
women.
Unique paintings can be seen at
Centro Cultural El Carmen
Planet Hostel was our home for the 4 days.
This is 1 of 2 common rooms outside our
private room with bath. The price was U.S.
$11.00 per person/night. It included free
breakfast, use of the kitchen, free Internet and
a very helpful staff!
They're at Cintalapa #6
Ristorante italiano da Angelo had fantastic
food that was reasonably priced.We visited
twice.  It's on Real de Guadalupe No. 40-C
Women take their children to work with them.
It's not unusual in most parts of Mexico
A fertile growing area, there is an abundance of fresh
fruits, vegetables, beans, coffee. The markets were
clean and well cared for. It's obvious these people take
pride and pleasure in their work.
Every now and then it is nice to
just sit and people watch...