- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
San Juan Chamula
Celebrated for its religious and cultural traditions, San Juan Chamula is one of the most fascinating highland villages. The Chamulas, a subgroup of the Tzotzils, are descendants of the Maya. More than 80,000 Chamulas live in hamlets throughout the highlands north and west of San Cristóbal; several thousand of them live in San Juan Chamula. Almost all adults wear traditional dress—men often don dark tunics, while women wear embroidered blouses over wool skirts.
A fiercely independent people, the Chamulas fought against the Spanish beginning in 1524. They are also fiercely devout—practicing a religion that's a blend of Catholic and Mayan practices—a trait that has sometimes pitted some members of the community against others. In the past 30 years, thousands who have converted to other religions have been forced to abandon their ancestral lands.
San Juan Chamula at a Glance
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe