Zinacantan + San Juan Chamula, Chiapas: Magic Towns

My friend Chris Clark writes a blog called Color in the Streets. It is her musings about living on Lake Chapala, Jalisco, and visiting many regions around Mexico during the last six years since she moved there from North Carolina, where I first met her. Chris’ partner Ben died almost two years ago and she has decided to move back to North Carolina where she has a strong support system. She will return in August.

In February, Chris came with us to Chiapas to explore the villages she had always dreamed about visiting. She has been writing a three-part series about her experiences there, and I published her first piece earlier this spring. You can read all three posts HERE.

Chris has a way with words. Her descriptions are detailed and luxurious. Reading what she writes is almost like being there. She has a big heart and makes instantaneous connections with the people we meet along the way.

Here is an excerpt about Zinacantan:

The village is the largest supplier of flowers throughout Mexico and parts of the United States. The hillsides are covered with greenhouses. Most residents wear indigenous traje (costumes) handwoven and then embroidered with each year’s current colorful display of flowers. The designs are hand-drawn and then machine embroidered. The colors change regularly. On our visit we saw deep green, burgundy, black, and brightly colored accents.

Here is an excerpt about San Juan Chamula:

This is the village I’d heard most about from friends and neighbors in Ajijic, where I live, who’d visited the church of San Juan Chamula, noted for its mix of Christianity and Maya beliefs (syncretism). For some reason, I had expected a small, simple structure, maybe made of wood, with little space inside. Church pews, of course. But pine needles and candles? Surely not. Inside felt immediately sacred and mystical. The walls were lined with small, lifelike statues of saints. The floor covered with pine needles, brushed aside to hold tall, skinny candles creating “pop-up” altars honoring those in need of healing…unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

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