beehive-shaped oven. The shape of the wood-fired oven provides an even heat. Although current bakers don't dress this way (at least none I have met), bread products have been baked using this ancient style of oven ever since the Spanish brought wheat over from Europe. I occasionally buy bread in from a neighborhood baker in my pueblo of Ajijic. He uses just such an oven. Previous to the introduction of the bee-hive oven, the indigenous people used a circular, flat griddle called a comal. On the comal they cooked the thin flat cakes called tortillas. Like the beehive oven, the ancient comal is still widely used in Mexico.
Palenque Rojo was about the ancient conflict between two Maya kingdoms named Toniná and Palenque which--according to legend--resulted in the conquest of Palenque and the death and rebirth of its king. The costumes, as you can see, were extraordinary. Although all the dialogue was in Maya, it was easy to follow the action because the theatre provided a brochure in English. During the performance, some of the actors were costumed as monkeys, large birds, crocodiles, and horrific insects. They had the animals' body movements down perfectly. Palenque Rojo was gripping and enchanting, a must-see if you visit San Cristóbal.
Templo de Caridad
established between 1577 and 1594 in the southern part of the city by two churches, Templos de San Diego y Santa Lucia. However, that hospital project did not prosper and, by the early 1600s, the facility in the south of the city was in ruins. In 1635, members of the Order of San Juan de Dios, led by Juan de San Martin, began planning for a new hospital. The chapel for their hospital complex would become Templo de La Caridad, In Mexico, however, few things happen quickly.
The Tzeltzal revolt that erupted in 1712 had been brewing for a while but the Bishop's demands helped trigger it. After the suppression of the revolt the Maya were forced to provide the funds used to procure the land where La Caridad now stands. It was purchased from Sergeant Major D. Pedro De Zaveleta and his wife. The Sergeant Major may well have had a part in defeating the Maya and, if so, he profited nicely from his military exertions. His property included a hermitage, a sacristy and a cemetery.
dedicated to treating the indigenous population. I suspect that this was at least in part a response to the revolt. At the urging of the bishop, some additional land, construction materials, and 1800 pesos were donated by the Dominicans whose Santo Domingo church and convent stood next door. La Caridad was built on the site of the old hermitage. The style of the church was influenced by the styles prevalent in 18th Century Peru and Guatemala. The Order of San Juan de Dios continued to operate the hospital complex until the War of Independence (1810-1821) when a group of San Cristóbal's prominent civilians took it over. Following the Independence War, the complex passed into the hands of the federal government.
first sighting of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad was in Cuba in 1604 by three fishermen. They were threatened by high waves during a storm at sea and prayed to the Virgin for their salvation. After the storm cleared, they found a statue of the Virgin floating on the water with a board attached saying "I am the Virgin of Charity." The clothing of the statue was miraculously dry. Adoration of the statue spread in Cuba, and from there to the mainland and finally to Chiapas. I find it interesting how the widely separated Spanish New World colonial possessions interacted with one another and influenced each other's cultural development.