Chiantla lies five kilometers north of Huehuetenango along a paved road that continues into the Cuchumtanes mountain chain. It was once a silver mining center and is known for its Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, harboring the Virgen de Chiantla, adorned in the town’s silver.
There are some interesting murals in the church’s nave depicting an encomendero watching over Mayan workers in the silver mine.
The church is a pilgrimage site throughout the year, but especially on February 2 during the annual town festival. Chiantla’s town center features two adjacent plazas, with one of them graced by a municipal building with a clock tower very much like the one in Huehuetenango.
Getting to Chiantla
There are buses from Chiantla to Huehuetenango (and vice versa) about every 20 minutes. Heading out from Huehue, the buses stop at 1a Calle and 1a Avenida on the way out of town, which is much closer to the city center than the bus terminal.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com