Post-Earthquake Report for San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas: Rumor or Fact

The 8.2 magnitude earthquake shook southern Oaxaca state and Chiapas a month ago on September 7, 2017. What’s the situation in Chiapas now?

I asked my friends Ann Conway, owner of La Joya Hotel, and Bela Wood, owner of Bela’s B&B, for an on-the-ground report about the state of things in and around San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

The best of the best vintage from San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas

What suffered damage there? I asked. What is closed? What is being repaired? Are tourist sites open and safe? What about visiting villages like Zinacantan, Chamula, Tenejapa, and Magdalenas?

I asked because we have two spaces open for the February 2018 Chiapas Textile Study Tour, and several inquirers express reluctance to commit right now.  (If you are interested, send me an email and I’ll send you the program description.)

Zinacantan man in tradition traje costume

Seems like there is a US State Department Advisory for the area and a rumor flying that Centro Textiles Mundo Maya is closed.

Here is what  Ann and Bela replied.

Bela Wood says, As far as I know all the villages are okay. In the historic center, two churches are closed pending repairs, and the Palacio Municipal is closed for repair.  Otherwise it’s fine. It feels quite safe. In fact we held up amazingly well for the size of the earthquake.

Ann Conway says, Many of our guests are from Mexico and other countries that don’t give much credence to what the US government has to say about safety here in Chiapas. Most of us who know and live in Mexico agree with this.

Embroidered blouse from Amantenango

Amigos de San Cristobal, an NGO support group, says, Hello Norma, Chiapas was affected by the quake, but the areas with the most damage were on the coast. Some museums are closed but not the Centro Textiles Mundo Maya textile museum.  In the villages of Zinacantán and Chamula all is good. We hope you will come visit us and we look forward to welcoming you. It is safe. 

Centro Textiles Mundo Maya, is the Chiapas textile museum located in the historic center of San Cristobal de las Casas. Here is what they say: We are still standing! We are pleased to share the news that our ex-convent of Santo Domingo was inspected by specialists and is in excellent condition to continue operations. We are waiting for the permits to perform minor repairs and resume our normal activities soon. 

Ex-convent Santo Domingo, Museo Textiles Mundo Maya

As for OAXACA: 

I’ve written before and I’ll say it again, Oaxaca City is safe. There has been very little damage and no loss of life. The same for the tourist destinations of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. Please do not cancel your visit!


12 responses to “Post-Earthquake Report for San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas: Rumor or Fact

  1. Hola Norma,
    Thanks for this information. Unfortunately we had to cancel our Oct-Nov. visit to Mexico (DF, Pto. Escondido, San Cristobal and Oaxaca) because Bruno broke his foot. This is the 2nd year in a row we have tried to be in Oaxaca for Dia de los Muertos and had to cancel. Back surgery last year: not meant to be.
    However, we will definitely do this trip in Jan-Feb. We’ll be in SCC from Feb 9-18, so maybe we’ll see you then. We’ll stay at Bela’s.

  2. David Cooper Alexandria, VA

    My son, his wife and three teen-age daughters are residing in Oaxaca. They reported that they only felt tremors during both quakes. There was no damage to their home but need for minor repairs to facades of older structures in the city. Also, there were no casualties reported.

  3. I found information on the tour on your website (I should have looked before sending you my last correspondence). I will review the info with my husband and hope to get back to you soon.

  4. I’m interested in the Chiapas Textile tour (Feb 2018). The email link didn’t connect. Could you send me the information. Thank you.

  5. Norma: I am interested in receiving information on the February 2018 Chiapas Textile Study Tour. My husband and I will be staying in the City of Oaxaca in January and February and hope to take a side trip to Chiapas. Two years ago you assisted me with scheduling a 3-day natural dyeing class with Elsa Sanchez Diaz that was absolutely wonderful.

  6. Thank you so much for that update Norma.

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