Panajachel Stories and Tips

Santiago Atitlan and Maximon

Santiago Atitlan is one of the bigger towns around Lake Atitlan. You can take a boat over to the island from docks in Pana. Once there, there's enough to do to fill up a couple hours. The town is famous for its embroidery, mostly of birds. You can walk up the street toward the market shopping in little shops. You can also find a guide to take you to Maximon. Maximon is the local deity or patron saint - depending on who you talk to he's a Catholic saint or a much older folk belief. We followed an old man up the twisty cobblestone streets to a little compound - Maximon's location changes every so often, as different families care for him. We ducked under a low doorway into a dim room where Maximon - a full sized statue clothed in men's clothes sat, flanked by two men and surrounded by offerings of money and cigarettes. According to the people there, if you bring a wish to Maximon three times, it will be granted. This was pretty cool to see.

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