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Cities in Huehuetenango, Guatemala
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Huehuetenango13 Todos Santos1
Info about Huehuetenango, Guatemala
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Huehuetenango is a Department of enormous tourist wealth. Beginning at the Cuchumatanes, the magical mountains of highest elevation in Central America, and continuing to Zaculeu, considered the most important city of the mam period, all of Huehuetenango possesses the magic and enchantment of the Guatemalan highlands. Part of the richness is its preservation of the oldest traditions of the Mayan people whose rites, idioms and customs are conserved. The study of the mountainous geography of Huehuetenango shows us a Department situated 2,000 meters above sea level, in one of the regions of greatest natural wealth and in one of the most important centers for mountain recreation. There is evidence of inhabitants in this region, around the year 15,000 BC, of cultures of hunters and gatherers. The paleontologic site of "El Mamut" contains specimens of this period. A little later agricultural communities formed, such as the pre-Classic sites of Cambote, Pucal and Cucal. The Mayan language is believed to have found its beginnings in the Cuchumatanes people. Additionally, one finds the influences of the Olmecas, in the archeological sites of Quen Santo, Chaculá and La Libertad. It was in the post-Classic period that there was the most aggressive activity. From this period there are 140 reported archeological sites in la Sierra de the Cuchumatanes, and it is felt that Zaculeu is one of the most important. This site evidences more than 1,000 year of occupation and was invaded in the 15th century by the k'iche' king named Quicab, whose domination embraced Cuilco, Todos Santos and Aguacatán. The city of Zaculeu, then free of tribute, was conquered by the Spanish in 1525, with the aid of the k'iche'es and kaqchikeles, in which the figure of Caibil Balam stands out. In the second half of the 16th century the religious orders took charge of the conversion. It was there that they established parishes at the locations of the present-day municipalities of Chiantla, Huehuetenango, Jacaltenango, Malacatán, Cuilco and Soloma. During all of the colonization Huehuetenango formed part of the Alcaldía Mayor, as did Totonicapán. Between 1838 and 1840 it formed part of the Estado de los Altos. In 1877 it was defined as a Department, colonization of its northern tiers was initiated and other zones were opened for the development of commercial crops such as coffee. During the eras of presidents Manuel Estrada Cabrera and Jorge Ubico the pace of construction of routes of internal communication was quickened through the use of forced labor . This network of roads has served as the foundation of the present-day arterials of inter-departmental communication and some stretches, such as the road to Aguacatán, are maintained with the original stone bridges. For many people Huehuetenango and the Cuchumatanes are synonymous, but the first is the name of one of the 22 Departments of Guatemala and the second is the name given to the highest elevation mountain mass in Central America. According to geographers, the mountain chain of the Cuchumatanes is formed by various aligned mountain ranges. Besides having the name of the chain, these others are called the Chamá, the Santa Cruz and Montañas Mayas. Consistent with its altitude of 3,600 meters on many peaks, the Huehuetenango range is comprised of various types of eco-systems. At the northern foot, there are tropical rainforests. At the western foot is the ardent Espinoso Chaparral and a little higher pines and evergreen mountain forests. The rain forest represents a prototypical Central American jungle of great biological diversity, with infinite invertebrates, many of them aggressive, snakes of silent life and torrents of water throughout it all. Among its natural attractions are Xemal Peak and Altos de Todos Santos, Mamut Cave, Montaña Tenimquán, Montaña Xetaj, the Yulajá and Villa Linda Rivers, the Montañas Yolhuitz and Tetloc Grottos, the Serchil River, the Valparaíso Spa, Laguna Yolnabaj, the Rocks of Kapsim, and the source of the San Juan River. Artisanry: Fabrics Among the municipalities which fabricate cotton fabrics there are Tectitán, Santa Ana Huista, San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán, San Pedro Necta, San Antonio Huista, Jacaltenango, Santiago Chimaltenango, Concepción, Colotenango, San Rafael Petzal, San Juan Atitán, San Sebastián Huehuetenango, San Gaspar Ixchil, Santa Bárbara, Huehuetenango, Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Chiantla, San Mateo Ixtatán and Santa Cruz Barillas. They make sheep's wool fabrics in the municipalities of San Mateo Ixtatán, San Sebastián Coatán, San Miguel Acatán, San Rafael La Independencia, Todos Santos Cuchumatán, San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán, San Sebastián Huehuetenango, Tectitán and Santa Bárbara. Glazed ceramics They create jugs, pots, jars, and dishes for baking tortillas in Tectitán, Cuilco, San Gaspar Ixchil, San Rafael Petzal, San Miguel Acatán, San Mateo Ixtatán, San Rafael La Independencia, Soloma, Santa Cruz Barillas, Santa Bárbara, Malacatancito, Huehuetenango and Concepción. Rope This material is made from the fibers of maguey and is utilized to make saddlebags, nets and knapsacks. These are constructed in the municipalities of San Mateo Ixtatán, Santa Ana Huista, Jacaltenango, San Miguel Acatán, San Sebastián Coatán, San Rafael La Independencia, Santa Eulalia, Todos Santos Cuchumatán, San Juan Ixcoy, San Juan Atitán, San Sebastián Huehuetenango, Cuilco, Tectitán and Santa Bárbara. Metal products Metals of iron, copper, silver, gold and tin are used to fashion lamps, railings, lanterns and handles. These items are fabricated in the municipalities of Santa Cruz Barillas, San Miguel Acatán and San Pedro Necta. Candle making This art has acquired enough importance to bring about a guild of its artists. One finds candle making in twenty-five of the thirty-one municipalities of the Department. Traditions: Dances The majority of the municipalities and populations of the Department of Huehuetenango, possess a legacy of dance expression handed down from their ancestors. One of the most important dance centers of this Department is situated at the foot of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, within the municipality of Jacaltenango. This is one region that has its own traditional groups that present the dances of Toritos, Venado and La Conquista. They also dance the Moros y Cristianos, La Culebra and La Paach as well as the Ixcampores that they dance on Todos Santos Cuchumatán. The Ixcampores is a shepherds dance in the context of the raising of goats and sheep. The dancers appear as ladinos wearing threadbare clothing and sheepskins and goatskins that protect from the blows that are thrown at one another. From these disguises hung stuffed animals such as squirrels, foxes and rabbits. Their dance is accompanied by a tombourine and their recitations are jokes in the mam idiom that bring laughs from the spectators. The most popular dances in the entire Department are the Toritos, the Venado and La Conquista. The dances of Moros y Cristianos are fading away, although we know that there are groups in Cuilco still practicing it.

Edited by: selvinekke on 16.07.2005
Last postings about Huehuetenango Guatemala from other users
selvinekke wrote:

mayan tempels.nature, culture and people, nice highlands.

hiphopgirl wrote:

In the city: 4°Norte (zona 4) Museo de Arqueologia e Historia, Museo de Historia Natural (zona 13) Mercado de Artesanías (zona 13) Placio Nacional, Catedral Metropolitanan, Mercado central (zona 1) Shopping malls and Museo Miraflores (zona 11) nightlife in zona viva (zona 10)

redpelon wrote:

Todos Santos is famous for its hikes and beautiful scenery, as its situated between two mountains, in the beautiful Cuchumatan mountain range. It's also noted for the "traje" worn by the indigenous peoples, and its indigenous culture still thrives. It also has two very active language schools if one is interested in learning spanish or mam, the local mayan dialect.

diego007 wrote:

Sierra de los Cuchumatanes ( the bigest in CA) Laguna Magdalena (a beautiful place) Todos Santos Cuchumatanes (they have good celebrations in november 1) Centro Arqueológico Zaculeu (ruins)

juanpabloc wrote:

Ruinas de Zaculeu. Mirador Juan Dieguez Olaverri, Los Cuchumatanes. Todos Santos Cuchumatan

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