Published On: Wed, Apr 16th, 2014

My trip to Chiapas (Part 3)

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The following day, the tour was to “El cañon del Sumidero” (Sumidero Canyon) a beautiful and incredible natural formation like the Grand Canyon in colorado, but whit more vegetation. We surfed the waters of the canyon for 2 and half hours and we saw cliffs that were 1 km high, a natural formation on the rock called “El arbol de Navidad” (The christmas tree) and two crocodiles! at the end of the route was the hydroelectric damn, that powers many cities in Chiapas.

Cañon del sumidero

Our next stop was San Juan Chamula, specifically the church where no tourists are allowed to take pictures inside, because the indigenous population is very protective with their beliefs. When we got out the van the driver told us that, we ought to do everything the guide tell us to do. As we walked the streets of this small town, we noticed that almost every man had a long “machete” on their backs, I never asked if this was a part of their vestment or just as protection or some other unknown reason to me. We had to pay  a fee to enter the church, I don’t quite remember how much was it, i think it was like 50 pesos per person. Before we enter we took a picture of the church, and a very nice local offered his services to explain us the rituals that took place inside the church.  As we entered the church, I was speechless as many of my classmates. As we couldn’t take pictures, as I previously mentioned I will have to do my best to describe the place, the entire floor of the church was covered with pine leaves, this was done so the people can sit down or lay down comfortably or so was I told and also because it released a nice scent. There were no benches to sit on, and some parts of the floor were free of pine leaves in order for the people to place candles on. The  sides of the church had many saints that the indians pray to. I saw only one tourist inside, the rest of the people inside were purely locals, likewise there were some patches on the side walls that looked like it was burned in the past. As you can probably imagine by now, it was not a normal church and as we headed to the door, a family with was we think was a rooster caught our attention when they started to perform a ritual that was later explained to us by the tourist, to be an offering for health or to cure something, I´m not really sure I remember but then with a rapid movement the woman that was holding the rooster in the air and was kind of pushing the smoke of the candles to the the body of a child in the ground, with a swift movement the woman broke the rooster´s neck whit her thigh in front of us, we were amazed of what we had just witnessed. After that, everybody started to feel a little weird and we decided to go out, it was quite an experience for all of us, and personally I loved it!

We returned to San Cristobal and we had the day free to ourselves, many of us decided to go shopping, other like me decided to explore the streets and take pictures and some others wanted to have a bite to eat. After I finished taking photographs of the place, I decided to head to the market of San Cristobal and maybe buy something for myself and my loved ones. Once I got there,  I encountered some friends that had like, four bags each, they told me that all the stuff that the indians were selling was very cheap, and that I should hurry because by that time it was almost 7 30 and some of them were returning to the hotel to change clothes and get some shut eye before we go out for dinner. I bought two shirts for myself, 5 beautiful bracelets for friends and my sister and a blouse for my mother that she later told me she loved.

After everyone was ready we started to look for a place to eat and we found an italian restaurant not far from the hotel, the food was exquisite, and I don’t know if it was because all of the exercise of the day or because I was starving, but I had a terrific dinner. The only thing that my teacher and some of my classmates didn’t like was the service in some places.You see, people in Chiapas is considered by many to be a little hostile, not in the way that they´re aggressive or something like that, is just that many of them are not as friendly as we are used to here in Yucatán, and that was something that we talked a lot about, as we study tourism and service is kind of a great deal in tourism.

It was Sunday night and it was our last day, so we decided to go out and celebrate what an incredible journey we had and all the great experiences we lived together. Our first Bar was a wine bar, that closed after we had just two glasses each, but it was really cheap, one glass of red wine was 18 pesos. A friend of mine, feeling the urge to drink something else and refusing to accept that the night was coming to an end, went out looking for another place to drink, he found it. The girls were the last to pay and after they got out we sat down in the other restaurant outside, and everyone started to order from beers, tequila, wine, etc. After a cheerful night of laughs and memories of the trip, we went back to the hotel to sleep, as the next day we were going back to Merida.

 

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-14 a la(s) 10.54.08 AM

By Jonathan Chim Barroeta.

  • 7th semester Student of Touristic Enterprises
  • Universidad Marista
  • Mérida, Yucatán

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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