Baja Verapaz belongs to the Northern Region, or Region II, and it is divided in eight municipal districts. The department has altitudes that vary from 940 to 1570 meters over sea level. The region covers 3,124 square km, 2.9% of the overall country’s area. With temperatures between 17.7 to 27.3 ºC (63.9 to 81.1 ºF). The department is almost totally covered by The Chuacús Mountains which is why its municipal districts are separated by the great hills of the Chuacús. It´s limits are Alta Verapaz to the north, Guatemala to the south, El Progreso to the east, and Quiche to the west.
57% of the population is indigenous, with various sub-ethnic groups, such as the Achi, Pocomchi, Quiche and Cackchiquel. The economy of Baja Verapaz is based on sugar cane plantations, vegetables, grains and cereals, as well as small industry of manufacture and commerce.
Baja Verapaz was instituted as a department on May 4th, 1877, when the Verapaces region was divided. Its original name was Tucurután sometimes written as Tuzulutrán, Tezulutlán o Tesulutlán, according to the Dictionary of National Geography. There is no specific translation of the name but some references design the meaning of the word as “Land of war”, due to the resistance the local natives gave to the Spanish conquerors, who, in juxtaposition gave it the name of “verapaz” which means real peace. This was due to the fact that, although natives presented a lot of resistance to the conquerors, it was a pacific resistance; the union of the department was achieved in a peaceful way. The Mayan and colonial history of Baja Verapaz is somewhat unclear since until the separation, both Alta and Baja Verapaz was a sole department. However it tis known that the region was home to Cackchiqueles, Quiches, Pocomchíes, Achís all of which live here to this date; and perhaps the Alagüilac.
Places to visit in Baja Verapaz:
This is the department’s capital city. It covers an area of 776 square km and is located 147 km from Guatemala City in the Urran valley, with an altitude of 960 m. It has a warm climate. The region can be reached by a system of paved roads. In Quiche tongue, Salama means “River of wood planks” or “Wood planks on the Water”. The exact date of its foundation is not known. It is however known that Friar Pedro de Angulo, the first Bishop for the territory, died on Good Wednesday in 1562 in Salama.
The church with its baroque facade is located at the central plaza It is an example of the Spanish colonial architecture of the 16th century. Its main navel and masonry dome have several Rococo carvings, gold laminates and paintings that depict scenes of the period. The church’s pulpit is also carved and is the only one of that kind, aside from one found in Peru.
The church of El Calvario was built in a very special location. After climbing a 120-step stair up a hill, you reach the atrium, which serves as a natural Mirador from which the whole city can be seen. There is a Temple of Minerva in Salama (an imitation of the classic Greek temples), with its republican architecture of the 19th century. It was built during president Estrada Cabrera’s term in office, which stayed in power for three consecutive terms on an autocratic ticket. It celebrates the Minervalias, cultural feasts, honoring the Greek goddess of wisdom.
Rabinal is located in the Urran valley, in the western part of the region. It covers an area of 504 square km, with an altitude of 982 m.o.s.l. It was formerly named Ropenal. In 1538, Friar Bartolome de las Casas and Friar Pedro de Angulo founded the town of Rabinal in a nearby location. San Pablo Rabinal is one of the three Maya-Achi municipal districts in Baja Verapaz. This village is considered one of the most important and popular traditional cultural centers of Guatemala. For the arts and handcraft lovers, Rabinal is the central point to acquire diverse products made in this municipal district. Woven cotton clothing, ceramic, “chin chines” (baby rattles), “jícaras”, “guacales” and baskets are, among other things, the seal of Rabinal.
There are several archaeological sites in Rabinal. One of them is Kaj Juyú or Kaj Yub, which means “Red Hill” in Achí. It is located nearby the urban area of Rabinal. Kaj Juyú was the Achí fortress before the Conquest, its name is mentioned in the Rabinal Achi, and here religious festivities are still celebrated. The Rabinal Achí is a literary work that represents the Mayan culture previous to the Conquest. In 2005 it was declared Masterpiece of the Intangible Oral Tradition of Humanity by Unesco, and in 2008 it was inscribed in the Representative List of Immaterial Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. It enacts a Kek’ Maya drama from the XV century. Rabinal is known for its production of oranges of exquisite sweetness, and for the variety of its most beautiful ceramic work it has to offer.
The locals credit the town with a special connection between earth and heaven. It has two Patron Saints: Saint Paul Apostle and The Virgin of Patrocinio which is why it has two fairs are celebrated, the first one on the 25th of January and the second one on November 15 in honor of each one of the Patrons. But the one on November 15th is the most important one. On that occasion the central park is decorated and a special place where the image of the Virgin is going to be placed is prepared with special care. During the first night of the celebrations there is a watch that includes prayer, music and typical food of the region. During three consecutive days, during daytime, the Convite (a folk dance group) performs the dance of the Conquest. At night there are processions. Unlike the processions of other places in Guatemala, the solemn air of the procession is interrupted by the presence of Toritos and Burning Castles. Also because the procession is formed by Characters, among them are the Negritos whose job is to run back and forth from the procession to the church in order to let the Virgin know how much longer the road to the church is. But also they will play pranks to those who become distracted by the toritos and the burning castles, this causes other people to laugh and be happy. But also, several religious, social cultural and sporting events take place in honor of San Pablo Apostol between the January 17th and the 25th. On these dates people perform the folkloric dances of Venados, Negritos, Diablos, El Chico Mudo, La Conquista, Animales, el Costeño, Huastecos, Santa Catarina, Moros, Marineros, el Tun, Convite or Enmascarados and Rabinal Achí.
Since colonial times the Rabinal Achí is performed on January 25th, even though it remained hidden from 1626 to 1856 when the French priest Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg translated it according to the telling of Achí local, Bartolo Sis. Locals believe that today, over 500 years later, the spirits of the warriors that lost their lives in the battle described in the Rabinal Achi, and who live in the surrounding mountains, are present also in the dance. Each Year the Patron Saints change place of residence, since in Rabinal there are 16 cofradías, and each year one of them hosts the image, preparing a special altar to receive neighbors who want to visit the images for prayer, and pay a small amount to keep the flowers fresh and candles burning.
Santa Cruz el Chol
This village is located 52 km from Salama. It covers an area of 142 square km and has an altitude of 1008 m a.s.l. it is sounded by Salamá, Chuarrancho, San Raymundo, and Grandos. This village was founded in the 17th Century. Its original name was Santa Cruz de Belén de los Indios Choles. Among its most interesting features is the 50-by-15-meter vault, which in pre-Hispanic times was used as a burial place for priests and children. Its catholic temple boasts very old effigies of saints as well as carved wooden altars, using the “chirriguresque” style of the 18th Century. Here you will find the biggest market of the Department. People who enjoy ecotourism will find Santa Cruz El Chol as a place to visit; it is located among the mountains of Las Minas, and Chuacús. Visitors can swim along the Agua Caliente and Motagua rivers, especially during the dry season, when they become very popular.
The Fair, Feast, and Ecclesiastical Pilgrimage is celebrated on December 8th in honor of The Sacred Virgin of Immaculate Conception and is famous due to it commerce, the sporting, cultural and religious activities where the processions that run through the street take prominence. The traditional Ecclesiastical Pilgrimage consist of a three horseback riding trip taken by the people devoted to the Virgin, starting from the west of the country to the towns’ temple where they present gifts, chants and prayer to their Patron Saint.
This is a village with a historic legacy dating back from the 16th Century. It is located on a wide valley 154 km away from Guatemala City, with a nice climate and vegetation common in the tropical region. It is situated in an altitude of 990 m, a.s.l. surrounded by the Santa Cruz, La Laguna, and Pachalum mountains. Market days are Thursday and Sunday. Its main industries are alcoholic beverages and brown sugar loaf manufacturing as well as sugar cane plantations. The local church with its Baroque altars, rich with saint statuettes and oil paintings, is a true jewel. It shows a painting by Cristóbal de Villalpando’s titled the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is considered one of Mexican painter’s best works.
It is highly recommended to visit the El Trapiche Museum, located in the antique plant of the first sugar refinery ever to be settled in Guatemala during the Hispanic Period, on the year 1601. A trapiche is a sugar mill that used to work using animal force to turn around the pieces that applied pressure and extracted the juice from the fiber. The leftover fiber then was used as a source material to burn in order to heat the juice, that later became the crystals. In a latter period, the animals were replaced by a boiler machine that also used the fiber as burning material. The Museum is open from 8:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday, and from 10:00 to 16:00 Saturday and Sunday. The Hacienda San Jerónimo was created right after the Conquest, it was left on the care of the Dominic Priests, and it was perhaps the most important asset of the Spanish Crown on Central America due to the production of sugar, cochineal, grapes, wine, and a, now gone, marihuana liquor. It was built in 1560 but In 1854 the machinery was renovated, and a Pelton wheel, that used the force of water, had a 7 meter diameter and weights almost a ton arrived to Golfo Dulce, at Río Dulce, form England.
This wheel, according to the chronicles, was transported on the back of the Indian slaves all the way to the Hacienda. To carry out the water for the mill to work, the Dominic Priests built an aqueduct, formed by 124 roman arches, many of which can be seen throughout the road that conducts to Finca San Lorenzo. The Hacienda changed hands a few times after some religious orders, including the Dominic, were banned from Guatemala in 1829, until 1893 when it was totally abandoned. There are a few archeological sites at San Jerónimo, such as El Portón, Laguna, El Salto, Sibabaj and Xubalbal.
San Miguel Chicaj
The old village is located in 940 m altitude, 9 km from Salama, on the road that leads to Rabinal. Its name is due to the belief of its natives that Archangel Saint Michael came down from heaven right there on Chicajs’ territory. Chicaj is a composed word which means on heaven. Most of the population works in agriculture, ceramics, and textile manufacturing and hemp objects. There are not many touristic places in town, but without any doubts it is worth to visit the town and walk around the houses where you will find many women weaving with ancient waist loom, and to enjoy the exquisite native costume which includes bright colors, mainly blues and a colorful head-dress. Don´t forget to visit the fountain at central park, the San Miguel bridge, and the church. The main fair here is celebrated from September 25th to the 29th, honoring San Miguel Archangel. Several social, cultural, religion and sporting events take place, as well as various dances such as the dance of the Moors and El Costeño.
The village covers 444 sq. km and is located in an altitude of 900 m. 68% of its population is of indigenous origin (mainly Quiche and Achí). It sits on Cubulco valley, next to the Sierra de Chuacus and borders with Baja Verapaz and Quiche. Cubulco’s current name derives pro the original Quiche name “Qubulajay” which means House of Garlands, o “aj K’ub’ulajá” “Those of the house of the Garlands” Cubulco is of Pre-Hispanic origins and this can be well appreciated at the archaeological sites of Belejtz’aq, located at Pachalí; Kawinal, located at the Banks of the Chixoy River or Río Negro, Chiúl, located at the town of La Laguna; Los Cimientos, located at the town of Tres Cruces, Moxpán, located at the town of Chicuxtín; Nimpocom Pueblo Viejo, located at Chicruz. On the banks of Río Blanco; and Las Ruinas de Cimientos Calá, located at the town of Cimientos Calá, on the banks of Río Calá.
This small Achí village has colonial architectural traits. One can see a very common element of religious architecture from the years after the Conquest such as the fortress-like way churches and convents were built at the time. The women here wear dresses that are said to be the most beautiful of the whole region. Especially the ceremonial huipil which is made of natural cotton and local weaving is famous. It has three side stripes brocaded with geometrical figures. You will recognize it since the color red is the dominant color and contrasts beautifully with the natural cotton background. It is said that the colors of the embroidery in a Huipil are originated from the colors of nature. Which is why, every figure, according to its color, represents a flower, a tree, a plant, a seed, an animal, the moon, the sun or the stars. Of course the primary Mayan colors will not be missing. These represent the four cosmic points, the color of the sky and the colors of earth: black, white, red, yellow, blue and green.
The order of the colors is of great importance because they relate to the four cosmic points, and they have to be embroidered in a circle, that represents the Mayan Calendar. The first embroidery must be red. Red represents the sunrise, this is why it has to have the same figure as the sunrise. Red is also the color of blood that runs through the veins of all living beings. Red is followed by green that represent nature. It is the color of the land. Yellow means joy, and is the cosmic color of south. Blue is hope and is the color of the sky, and is related to the winds. Black is the color of the sunset. It is the color of west, and it means death. And white is the color for north, where the air comes from, it represents the breath of life. The fair here is celebrated on July 25th and honors their Patron Saint Santiago. It takes place at the plaza, where the famous “Palo Volador” ceremony, a pre-Hispanic ritual dance, is staged.
Purulha covers an area of 248 sq. km and lies in an altitude of 1737 m. Its main fair is celebrated from June 10th to the 13th honoring of San Antonio de Padua, with religious, cultural, social and sporting events.
Biotopo del Quetzal Mario Dary Rivera - Quetzal Bird Reserve
The Reserve “Mario Dary Rivera” or “Biotopo del Quetzal” is one of the most relevant touristic places in the department. Located in Purulha this conservation unit with a size of 1175 hectares is dominated by cloudy jungle and its mountains reaching an altitude of 2300 m. It is the best example of a managed system out of all natural communities of sub-tropical mountain climates in the country. The Biotopo has more than 50 different tree species that reach up to 120 feet high, including some specimens that are more than 450 years old. Its mountains function as a natural barrier against the storm currents that drain onto the gulf and Caribbean basins. The most notable species of vegetation include the pines, oak trees, cypress, eucalyptus, rubber, chipe or “shut” bark trees (giant ferns), lichens, mosses, orchids, bromeliads, algae and other arboreal plants and ferns. In the animal kingdom, the most common species are the squirrels, wild rabbits, foxes, monkeys, apes, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes (both arboreal and terrestrial) salamanders, etc. A very special place is reserved for the Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala. It is one of the only places it can be seen, especially early in the morning.
There are two main trails within the reserve complex: Short trail (Los Helechos): 2000 m of walking distance, approximately, this can be done in 45 min. Long trail (Los Musgos): 4000 m of walking distance, approximately, which can be done in 3 hours.
Activities for visitors include observation strolls through the trails. There is a cold-water natural pool for swimming. Both trails are highly educational and one can learn everything related to the water cycle. This reserve has the following facilities: multiple-purpose hall, camping area, small parking area, shop, rest rooms, cafeteria, huts with tables and grills, and a shelter for 20 people.
The Biotopo is located 165 km from Guatemala City. You will reach it taking CA-14, which leads to Cobán. The facilities are open to the public from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sierra de las minas Biosphere Reserve
It is the best-kept biological corridor with the richest in bio-diversity. It is formed by a chain of mountains with altitudes that range from 150 to 3000 m a.s.l. of rugged and steep hills covered by a huge blanket of vegetation. It has many natural streams and water beds. There is a large amount of stratified types of forest here: cloudy, conifer, rainy, spiny, old, and all full of life. 70% of all vertebrate species documented in Guatemala live in Sierra de las Minas, making it a very important place due to the large diversity of ecosystems and species that live there.
There are recent studies supporting the theory that there are several species that haven’t been discovered or documented. These mountains are so steep that, in some parts, there have never been any human beings. Its huge variety and inaccessibility are the main reasons for its richness. There is a great part of the Sierra that is still not known, because a large part of its territory has not even been visited by scientists. There are several varieties of trees here, especially cedar trees, oak trees, liquidambar and a huge variety of pines (conifers). These forests are also a natural shelter for large mammals, including jaguars, pumas, deer and birds like the quetzal, the pajuil, and the harpy eagle.
For visitors who want to reach the Sierra by themselves, there are two places with good accessibility: Chilasco and Los Albores. In 1990 this reserve was officially declared by the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, according to Decree N °49-90 ;and, that same year, The program of man and the biosphere (MAB) UNESCO included it within the world network of biosphere reserves (UNESCO, 2002).
Hosted in the cloud forest of the Sierra is the Chilascó jump, than in Poqomchi' meaning "dark mountains". In this place it is possible to visit the great cataract of more than 130 m high; It is the highest natural waterfall in the Central America. The trail can be made on foot or horseback riding, though only a part of the way, since the trails are very steep, it is preferable to carry out the rest of the journey on foot. It can be extreme hike so it is recommended to wear suitable footwear and contact a guide of the community of Chilascó, in the information office.
In Baja Verapaz there are three widely spoken native languages: The Achí, The Pocomchí and the Quekchí, although Spanish is the official language of the country.
Ecological DataThe Legend of the White Nun Orchid
The Monja Blanca or White Nun is a flower of the orchid family, and it was established, officially, as the National Guatemala flower by the Jorge Ubico government, after receiving a polite and respectful suggestion of Mrs Letitia Southerland to do so, after getting to know and admired the beautiful flower during the 1933 International Flower Exposition on Miami Beach.
Facing the danger of its extinction, president Juan José Arévalo, in 1947, issued a government agreement, completely prohibits collection and export of its bulbs, its flowes, and any other part of the plant, or any other kind of orchid species. Apparently thousands of orchid plants were looted from the Guatemalan forests during the 1800, and taken into Europe, by the British. Although its election as National Flower was not until 1933, and the discovery of orchids, in scientific terms, wasn´t until the middle XIX century, for the Mayan has always been an important plant, used in its fertility rituals.
However, in the Verapaces, the White Nun Orchid always had a special place, to the extent that a legend had been transferred by word of mouth from one generation to the next since the beginning of times. The story tells that in the beginning of time, there was a Great Lord, owner of mountains and valleys, and that once a year he will come down into town. One of those days he noticed a beautiful young woman and he fell in love with her immediately. The Great Lord then went to the girl’s house to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. He presented the parents with a chest full of money, and took his woman with him. Because the Great Lord was so in love with his wife, there was not a thing she would ask that he didn’t comply with, looking with any occasion to make her happy. The years passed by and her parents spent the money from her dowry, so, taking advantage of the great love the Great Lord had for his wife, they asked for silver, land, corn and cacao, and he always gave them more. The woman, mortified by her parents greed ran away to the forest, so when her parents came back to visit the mountain where she lived, and once more take advantage of the Great Lord, they couldn’t a thing, except for a white light that prowled among the trees; they then understood that the great white light was none other than the spirit of their daughter. The Great Lord was inconsolable, he became enraged and took it after her parents, who he blamed for the loss of his wife, and made them into trees right there and then. After crying for days on end, the Great Lord transformed the beautiful light into a white flower of boundless beauty that would grow at the bottom of trees, reminding everyone where ambition could lead. That was how The White Nun came to be.
Folkloric Dances of Baja Verapaz
One of the main distinctions of Baja Verapaz is the quantity of folkloric dance groups that are formed by men and boys that bring to life the dances for love to it Patronage Fairs.
The dances that are played in Baja Verapaz are:
This dance represents deer hunting; the deer is a sacred animal of the Mayan people. Is a ritual in which hunters seek forgiveness to the deer, which is believed to be the owner of the mountains and hills, for the killing of its deer son, or to ask permission to hunt. The dance represents the hunting and is played by 26 dancers: The old man, the old lady, The Zagales, The Captains, The Deer, The Tigers, The Lions, The dogs, The Monkeys, and the Malinches that are the princesses of the court of the K’iche King.
The Flying Pole:
One can find the history of this dance in the Popol Vuh, scared book of the Kikches. It tells the history of the brothers Jun Batz and Jun Chowen, who tried to kill their two brothers Hunapú en Ixbalanque, and as punishment they were turned into monkeys. Before the dance, the dancers and other participants carry out the fire ceremony, during which the ask nature to help the find the right tree for the ceremony to be carried out. After that they cut the tree and bring it down to the central plaza where the rest of the dance will be carried out. Once there, they tell the story and finally the dancers throw themselves from the pole and around it to unfold the rope that sustain them while doing funny gestures along the music of marimba.
Since colony times the Rabinal Achí is performed on January 25th, even though it remained hidden from 1626 to 1856 when the French priest Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg translated it according to the telling of Achí local, Bartolo Sis. Locals believe that today, over 500 years later, the spirits of the warriors that lost their lives in the battle described in the Rabinal Achi, and who live in the surrounding mountains, are present also in the dance.
Also known as the old men dance, this is a dance that appears first in Salamá, with the apparition of a cross in a hill located to the south of the city. The dance is formed by five to ten men, all of them farmers, who on May the second, limb the hill to pray and ask for plenty rain to keep the crop. This dance, as with other dances, has a religious tint, which is why it is believed to date to the colonial times. The dancers wear rustic costumes, like leather sandals, straw hats, and black color masks. They use blankets tied to their waist, just like Gaucho costumes, and carry the long stick. On one end of said stick the hang the carcass of dried up stuffed animals mostly small animals like rabbits a raccoons. The dance with the sticks as if they were women ant they repeat funny sentences. On the third of may they come down the hill and dance wherever they find a chapel to the Holy Cross, sine that is the day that The Holy Cross day is celebrated, and the pray the Major Litany of the Mazates, that is a funny litany, but when they finish this they pray a formal religious litany. Finally, they go back to sentences full of humor like: “Praise Saint John Mime, so next year we will have plenty wine”, etc.
The Dance of the Bull:
“El Torito” Is a dance that depicts the time during the Conquest, it represents a land owner, a woman called Catarina, an Indian slave dressed as a black person, a dog, and of course, a bull that appears at the end of the dance with fireworks coming out of its back. This is perhaps the most know dance, and the one that is performed in most towns and places where folkloric dances are presented.
Moors and Christians:
Around the XVI century, Spanish Catholic missionaries introduced the Moors and Christian dances that depicted the war, in Spain, against the Moors (Muslims) occupation of the territory. Dances that are still popular in some Spanish regions but differ from those in Guatemala in folklore and the attractiveness of color. The dance is performed only by men, who wear colorful costumes adorned with golden lace and tiny mirrors sewed to the fabric. Mask depicting characters, and animals; and hats with feathers of other paraphernalia. As with many other Catholic teachings, locals gave the custom its own twist, introducing local animals, in addition to bulls and horses that were of European origin; and mask of the Conqueror such as Don Pedro de Alvarado and others.
This is a relatively new dance that includes Mexican Charros along with Spanish conquerors and the bull. The dancers play jokes and tell funny stories to entertain the public.
This dance is divided in three parts. The first one let the viewers know about the reactions of the K’iche’s to the Spanish invasion under the command of Don Pedro de Alvarado. Tekum (Tecún Umán) Heir Prince to the Throne and General Capitan of the armed forces of the K’iche’s, receives the order to defend and stop the Spanish advances. On the second part, the Spanish present Tekum with the demand to surrender to power of the King of Spain, and convert to the Catholic faith, or else they would be made slaves or be killed. Obviously Tekum refuses to comply with the demands. On the third and final part the war between the Spanish and the K’iche’s is described as well as the battle where Tekum loses his life to the hand of Pedro de Alvarado. After this event, the K’iche King surrenders, and subjects his people to the Spanish dominion and the Catholic Faith.
Dance of Cortez.
It tells the story of the Conqueror Hernán Cortéz, its allies, like the Totonacas and others. Other characters could be Montezuma, Pedro de Alvarado, his brother Gonzalo de Alvarado and others.
The Guy form the Coast Dance:
This dance originates in Rabinal, and is a symbolic representation of the cattle sale that takes place in Rabinal during the Fair. It tells that the buyers come from the coast carrying cocoa beans. The characters are The Cowboys that are the sellers; and the Carriers, that are the buyers, The Bull and the monkey.
The Mute Guy Dance:
The principal character of this dance is a man, elegantly dressed, with a black mask that has his tongue coming out of his mouth. Here the main character communicates solely by using their hands or a book that he carries on his trousers. His clothes are the antique clothes that were worn by congressmen, so this is who he represents.
A huehuecho is a local word that means goiter. It is danced in honor of the God of rain, or Jun Toj. The Characters are a woman called Aj Muy, four guys with a huge goist, and other guys with smaller goists and a pilgrim staff. It goes also by the name of Patzca that is the given name of old clothing.
The Sierpe, or the Serpent:
This dance is mainly represented by the Saint Peter Apostle and Saint Sebastian Cofradías, The Ajaw Cofradía on Corpus Christy, the Saint Peter Apostle Cofradía in June, and Santo Domingo Cofradía in August. It is the battle between good and evil. There are seven characters that are: The Saint, first and Second Capitan, The Sheriff (a horned devil), The King (a red faced devil), Ananías (an angel), The Sierpe (an adaptation to the feathered snake) The Saint takes everyone to dance, then The King, The Sheriff and Ananías fight against the First and Second Capitan and the Saint. This is the battle. Finally the King and the Sheriff behead the Saint and dance around him as a sign of victory. The dance is over when the Sierpe dances opening its jaws towards each of the cardinal points. This dance mixes both prehispanic and colony times.
The black people:
In this dance the characters do not wear masks, and they are The Tata Abuelo (the grandfather) that has a thick leather belt with which he whips the other that take turns to dance or ask the public for food.
The Small Animal Dance:
This dance is also called Kam Man Chicop, it is a festive dance and represents Rabinal in the last Sunday of of November in veneration of the Virgin of Saint Anne.
The Jews and the flowers.
September 21, in honor of Saint Mathew.
July 25, in honor of Santiago Apostle.
December 8, in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
June 29, in honor of Saint Peter.
June 13, in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua.
January 2, in honor of Saint Paul.
September 30, in honor of Saint Geronimo.
San Miguel Chicaj:
September 29, in honor a Saint Michel Archangel
Municipal Districts of Baja Verapaz
- Santa Cruz el Chol
- San Jerónimo
- San Miguel Chicaj
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