I went to a small indigenous village close to #SanCristobal called #Chamula. Cham means death Ula means evaporating of the water. I visited the Iglesia de San Juan. Here is a very interesting story of how the people of this village have fought for their traditions despite the strong influence of the Catholic Spaniards. They have a fierce reputation of independence. A Catholic church was built by the Spaniards in 1700 right over the river, destroying the villagers water source. Hence the name Chamula. Like every colonial story, their indigenous beliefs and shamanic rituals were also discouraged. Fifty years later, a new priest was implemented and had tried to completely abolish the people’s traditions. They began to find other places to pray and have ceremonies. After much conflict, the indigenous people killed the priest. Then came a new priest who was open to merging their Mayan shamanic traditions with Christianity. They removed the benches in the traditionally Christian looking church and allowed the people to have their ceremonies on the floor over piles of pine. They say pine trees are connected to the god of sky since they are so tall and the trunk connects all the way to god of the underworld by its roots. Walking in this church felt like I had entered another dimension. Thousands of candles made the space extremely warm. Families on the floor lighting many more candles directly on the tiles and praying in their language called #Tzotzil. Statues of Saints along the walls since they worship several different Saints. Also, Virgin Mary is considered the Goddess of the Moon. They remain true to the #Mayan traditions by worshipping the Gods of the #Cosmos and the 4 Elements but have introduce them into the Catholic gods. Every group has a healer, a person who can connect to the supernatural. I saw two chickens being sacrifice to which is done to keep the balance of life and death. They also drink pox (regional distillate) to spit over the fire with the intention of evacuating malicious spirits. They used to also drink alote (fermented corn) to burp and spit out the evil spirits, however it’s a long process to make it so now they use Coca Cola or any refresco.