Chichicastenango is a small town at almost 2000 meters altitude in the Guatemalan highlands. It is located 2 or 3 hours from Guatemala City (145 km) is a region where many fruits and vegetables of excellent quality are produced, some for local consumption and others for exportation. In Chichicastenango, on Thursdays and Sundays the traditional market is held, considered the largest of its kind in Central America.
This market attracts not only Quiché locals but also sellers and buyers from other areas and ethnic groups: Kackchiqueles, K’ ekchíes, Mames and others who offer their products, creating a great mix of colors, dialects and customs.
Since pre-Hispanic times Chichicastenango has been playing an important role in the region. Even today, one day before the fair, the vendors begin to assemble their stands in the main square and in the surrounding streets, to offer customers from almost all over the world their varied textile products embroidered by hand or on looms: blouses, tablecloths, bags, trousers, girdles, beautiful belts, ceramic objects, and a wide variety of masks, some used in ancient traditional dances. You can choose from a great variety and quality of objects, and you can even negotiate prices!!
Another very important aspect of Chichicastenango is the church of Santo Tomás, over 400 years old, an ancient Dominican monastery, currently venerated by faithful from many places who come to seek intercessors among men and forces of nature to have good harvests and health, burning incense and candles inside the church and on the 18 steps that represent the 18 months of 20 days of the Mayan calendar.