Our next stop was San Francisco el Alto market located at 2,610 metres above sea level, where buyers and sellers from all over Guatemala gather. The 17th century church of San Francisco de Assis, which we had heard of before could hardly be seen, once there were stalls around it almost "covering" it completely.
One could have easily get lost in this intricate market ground, though the reference meeting point was the animal market located in the highest part of of the "pueblo", which we ended up finding rather interesting.
I bought my first huipil (a ceremonial one) though it did not correspond at all to the ones whose textile designs I had "studied" before travelling, taking into account the intricate symbolic approach to the Mayan iconography and mythological representation and even the colour diversity. I couldn't simply resist its flower embroidered "sleeve"like design in a vibrant violet colour that I had never seen before.
We continued towards Panajachel having stopped at Solola, an important centre of Mayan culture, with its Kaqchikel traditions, confradias and hierarchies. The market is carried out around the Central park, where the Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion can be seen, as well as the imposing 1916 Central American Tower celebrating the independance dates of Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and el Salvador.
Some "naive" paintings on the walls of the Municipality caught our attention and the more I looked around the more "details" I found that "complemented" my information on this beautiful indigenous people. An interesting aspect regarding Solola was the fact that there were two Mayors, an indigenous and a "ladino".
Before heading to Panajachel which we reached by late evening, I still learned how to entwine the woven textile headband in the side plait the indigenous way. The street vendor I bought it from and I still had quite a lot of fun in doing it ...