San Andrés Xecul

One field trip from Xela organized by PLQE was a visit to San Andrés Xecul, a little town which is famous for its brightly-painted churches. See in Google Maps See in Google Earth 14.9045, -91.4828 

Our journey was by chicken bus, of course. You can see the U.S. school bus heritage on some of the yellow (not-yet-repainted) buses.

Xela (Quetzaltenango) - Trip to San Andrés Xecul - Chicken BusXela (Quetzaltenango) - Trip to San Andrés Xecul - Chicken BusesTrip to San Andrés Xecul - Chicken Bus InteriorTrip to San Andrés Xecul - Chicken Bus, Still Yellow

The town of San Andrés Xecul was small and hilly, with steep narrow streets.

San Andrés XeculSan Andrés Xecul - Communal Clothes Washing AreaSan Andrés Xecul - View from the Top of Town

We first visited the chapel at the top-end of town. Worshippers at this chapel practice a mixture of Catholic and native Mayan ceremonies — a combination that is growing more common in Guatemala.

San Andrés Xecul - YeChapelSan Andrés Xecul - ChapelSan Andrés Xecul - Kids PlayingSan Andrés Xecul - Turkey

The view from the top of town.

San Andrés Xecul - View from the Top of Town - Yarn Being Dyed Black and MaroonSan Andrés Xecul - View from the Top of TownSan Andrés Xecul - View from the Top of Town

The "Tigo" cellphone company seems to have a huge advertising budget — spent painting buildings all over the country deep blue, with their company color & taglines.

San Andrés Xecul - Tigo Cellphone Company

San Andrés Xecul is also famous for hosting a San Simón (aka Maximón), the cigar-puffing booze-swilling saint. This town (like several others) has a couple effigies of San Simón, which are hosted by a (periodically different) local household. We paid a small fee to visit the current Casa de Maximón inside the tienda "San Simón". San Simón has his own room, complete with bed.

San Andrés Xecul - Tienda San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - SignSan Andrés Xecul - San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - EntranceSan Andrés Xecul - San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - EntranceSan Andrés Xecul - San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - Effigy & Offering CandlesSan Andrés Xecul - San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - EffigySan Andrés Xecul - San Simón - La Casa de Maximón - A 2nd Maximón Effigy, and his bed

The big church, also brightly painted yellow.

San Andrés Xecul - ChurchSan Andrés Xecul - ChurchSan Andrés Xecul - Church

The sign says: urination and ball playing are not allowed.

San Andrés Xecul - Prohibido Orinar - SignSan Andrés Xecul - Church - Prohibido Orinar - Sign