Tenejapa is a tidy, prosperous Tzeltal Maya town known for its master textile weavers and Thursday market (which has spilled over to Sunday as well). It also has a beautiful church and central plaza, yet you can count on one hand the number of travelers who go there on any given day.
Tenejapa is notable for its peaceful and tolerant atmosphere, and not just toward visitors: It’s one of only a few highland indigenous communities where both Catholics and Protestants live and worship openly, and where converts are not routinely expelled. However, taking photographs inside the church, or of officials or processions, remains strictly forbidden.
Sna Jolobil, the award-winning cooperative with a shop attached to San Crisóbal’s Santo Domingo church, was founded in Tenejapa, and the town has long been renowned for the quality and inventiveness of its textiles. The cooperative has a small shop a few doors to the right of the main church, and its founder, María Meza, lives on the road leading into town.
Visitors are welcome to knock on her door and ask to see her work; there’s no number, but look for a white house three doors uphill from the corner.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition