At the foot of the Cuchumatán mountain range, Huehuetenango—it's one of those fun Guatemalan place names to say (way-way-tay-NAHN-go), but everybody shortens it to "Huehue"—was once part of the powerful Mam empire, which dominated most of the highland area. It wasn't until much later that the Guatemalan Quiché came into the area to stir things up, pushing the Mam up into the mountains.

Today Huehuetenango ("place of the ancestors") is a quiet town in the midst of a fertile coffee region, with few real sights of its own. It serves as a gateway to the magnificent Cuchumatán mountains and the isolated villages scattered across them.

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