Colonial Church, Santiago Atitlan

4.4
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Santiago Atitlan
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Colonial Church Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
109 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This church was the most interesting stage of my tour of the villages of the lake, due to the religious syncretism it represents. Here is not to see or buy handicrafts, but to perceive how Mayan beliefs managed to mix with Spanish Catholicism and survive despite the passage of centuries. The church might seem simple, but it is loaded with symbolism from its entrance, which is raised on semicircular stairs in the manner of a small pyramid. The interior of the church has many statues of saints, dressed in such a way that they mix European and indigenous elements. On the central altar, there are small wooden altarpieces where the figure of Maximon, an indigenous cult entity, characterized by its mask, hat and colored ribbons on the body is clearly observed. Seeing such representations serves as proof of the religious syncretism that occurred in Guatemala (and in many parts of the world): despite the imposition of the Catholic religion centuries ago, Maya beliefs remain part of everyday life and their worship is Important. It is highly advisable to visit this church with a guide, to better understand its importance. Otherwise, you would only see a village church, without perhaps noticing the Mayan elements inside it. If you have a guide during your walk through Santiago Atitlán, you can take the time to ask to go to the house that houses Maximon; in this way you will enrich and better understand this religious element so characteristic of the Altiplano.
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  • The church is also excellent because the village is different from the other villages around Lake Atitlan. The church here is also based on white. It is possible to go in and out in daytime.
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