Central America | Guatemala – Visit to the Pagan Church at San Andres, Guat
Our field trip at school consisted of taking 2 chicken buses to a nearby (30 minutes away) pueblo called, San Andres. We had a difficult time finding room on the chicken bus which was packed full of people with music blaring. I felt like I was in a movie. There are only 5 inches of room between the seats for walking down the center ‘aisle’, if that is what you call it. I feel sorry for anyone who is overweight because the chicken buses are a tough option when there are 3 people per seat and no room to pass.
Be that as it may, we visited a pagan church that was quite interesting. Maximon was a benevolent Spaniard who is believed to have some power to heal or help when summoned with petitions. The church is filled with smoke and candles burning and consists of an alter with a figurine of Maximon behind a glass encasement surrounded by cheesy lights. Imagine the gypsy lady booth at the circus who, after inserting a coin, spits out a fortune card at the bottom. We are talking the exact same thing except Maximon is dressed in a suit or tuxedo of sorts. The locals wait in line for their turn. They are then swatted down with a handful of herbs to cleanse them before their petitions are made. Outside of the church, locals burn alcohol, kill chickens, or whatever else they feel will bring them good luck.
We then walked around the market as it was market day. I fell in love with this indigenous woman and her braids before I indulged in a fresh mango which I never tire of here.
P.S. This sure beats sitting at a computer all day… 🙂