Huipil of Santa María de Jesús

Surrounding Antigua, there are many fascinating small towns full of friendly Guatemalans that are worth spending a day to explore.
One of these is the town of Santa María de Jesús, located under the slopes of Volcán de Agua, the largest of three volcanoes overlooking Antigua.


For three Quetzales, you can make the fifteen-minute journey by bus or microbus to spend the day exploring this quaint town. Wandering the market in town square, is the main draw on Tuesdays and Thursdays when people flock there to trade.
Flowers, sweets, fruits and vegetables can all be found at a bargain price; but what makes this market special is the fabrics. People come from all around to find huipil at an affordable price.
Huipil is the handmade traditional Mayan fabric, made and worn by the women. This time-honoured skill is passed to each new generation in most villages throughout Guatemala. New and used huipiles of the traditional handmade sort can be found alongside the newer machine made version and there is even a printed variety of these gorgeous fabrics. A huge array of huipiles in every colour and design can be found laid out in abundance, the only problem you have is choosing which one will go home with you.
To give you an idea of price, one lady I spoke to had journeyed there just to buy huipil. Her two bags contained five of the smaller traditional handmade huipiles which she had purchased for just Q225 (that is only $30 US dollars). I am told the more modern machine-made style is cheaper still.


The only other place where you can find these fabrics for such a low price is at the huge Chichicastenango market famous for Guatemalan textiles and fabrics. But that is two and half hours from Antigua, so isn’t it nice to know you can spend Q3 and in fifteen minutes be immersed in a world of affordable huipil.
The Santa María de Jesús bus or a microbus to take you there can be found behind Antigua’s Municipal Market.
Have fun exploring!

Written by: Belinda Woodhouse

Translated by:  Jullisa Carrillo

Photos by: Belinda Woodhouse 

 

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