Laguna Chicabal

From San Martin Chile Verde the footpath rises well traced, following a steep hill. We meet some children heading to the fields in order to work, they exchange with us some shy smiles: when we reach “laguna seca”, our roads follow different itineraries. We continue walking along the steep cone of the Chicabal Volcano, some sun beams penetrate through the luxuriant vegetation. The altitude grazes the 3000 meters, but when we catch up the mirador of the crater we remain literally without breath. On one side, the magnificent volcano complex formed by Santa maria, Siete orejas e Santiaguito (we are so fortunate to observe it during one of its periodic explosive eruptions). Inside the crater, we observe the Laguna Chicabal, a green-emerald lake, encircled by mountainous jungle (bosque nuboso). We understand why this lake is considered the heart of the Mayan Mam cosmovision: it’s a place loaded with a natural mysticism, where it is believed the “Nahuales” live, spiritual entities that protect the Mam people and regulate their activities following a lunar calendar. Beyond the legends, the silence and the fog that comes down towards the lake from the slopes of the crater late in the morning, creates an extremely rarefied atmosphere. We get lost in our thoughts…

Laguna chicabal Maya cosmovision Mam Nahuales Guatemala Latin America images travel photos

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