San Andreas Xecul, Salcaja, and Totonicapan

There are churches all over Guatemala. In fact the oldest churches in Central America are located here. Most of these churches are lovely, Baroque, and white.

Not in San Andreas Xecul.

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The church here is one of the most famous in the country. It is festooned with brightly colored angels, saints, animals, and flowers.

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The interior of the church is not as intense as the exterior.

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There is another tiny church in San Andreas. By tiny I mean “enough room for a few people to kneel.” Though I am not Catholic, I would have lit a candle here for my recently-departed library employee, who suffered an aneurysm a few days ago. But I couldn’t convince the tienda owner to sell me just one or two candles instead of an enormous bunch. Please imagine a candle is burning for Lisa in this picture:

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I had a bit of an adventure getting to see this church  and the other town I traveled to today. An adventure which involved too many chicken buses. Twice I was put on the wrong bus, even though my Spanish has improved to the point that I can coherently ask where a bus is going. The second detour was especially annoying because I KNEW the bus was going the wrong way, and went out of my way to clarify where it was going. I assumed that it was about to make a turn or something after I was assured that the bus was going to Toto (Totonocipan). Oh well, the scenery was lovely. Every time I passed it.

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I also went to the town of Salcaja, which I have to say, isn’t all that exciting. I couldn’t even see the church past the wall of corrugated metal that surrounded it. I went there for only one reason, or acturally two:
1. It’s the place I needed to change my bus
2. It is the only place in the world that sells rompopo, a liquor involving rum, sugar, almonds, egg whites and spices, like egg nog with a big kick. It’s supposed to taste better than it looks.

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Which is good, because it looks nasty.

As I mentioned earlier, I took buses back and forth, and always through Salcaja, the least attractive town I’ve seen so far. I met another Frenchwoman on the bus, N. She speaks hardly any Spanish or English, so it was difficult talking with her, but nice to have company nonetheless. We went to Toto together, though I’m not entirely sure why. Because it was there?

There was a crowded market in Toto, a few fairly attractive buildings, a park, and absolutely no other gringos.

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I didn’t buy anything, though I am now kicking myself for not having done so. I was pretty tired at this point, and not up for haggling.

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Another chicken bus home.

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yes the bus was moving when I snapped this photo

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