Chenalhó is a quiet Tzotzil Maya town located at the bottom of a narrow valley, with a lively Sunday market and striking textiles and weaving. Chenalhó women continue to wear the town’s traditional clothing, including huipiles with bright-red embroidered panels around the neck, and indigo skirts.
Chenalhó is located 33 kilometers past San Juan Chamula, on the same highway. At about 18 kilometers is a Y-intersection; bear right (going left takes you to San Andrés Larrainzar) and in another 15 kilometers the road descends in a series of steep hairpin turns before bumping right into Chenalhó’s central plaza.
Iglesia San Pedro
Maya crosses stand in front of Chenalhó’s attractive main church, Iglesia San Pedro, while green valley walls rise dramatically behind. On the opposite side of the plaza, and a block back, a path leads over a short bridge and up a steep slope to the town cemetery, whose bright colors and rich offerings are well worth a quick look. It is okay to take pictures of the graves, but not anyone praying or performing a ceremony there. Likewise, pictures of the church facade are permitted, but not the interior.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition