San Andres Xecul and its unique church in Quetzaltenango
If you visit Xela, the main city of Quetzaltenango (and second largest-modern city in Guatemala), take the time to visit this colorful church in San Andres Xecul.
It's about 20 minutes from the center of the city (on a bus or car).
If you are entering Xela, it's just at the entrance following a road of a mile and a half to the village. Some even get there biking and some just walk.
What can you expect at San Andres Xecul?
As you get closer to the center of San Andres Xecul you will see a little yellow church uphill making you think you are almost there. Minutes later you'll realize the main church is at your left facing the hills. So don't get lost trying to get to the little one. Even it's beautiful, is not the main and famous attraction around.
Find vegetables and handicrafts at the market, and if you arrive at the end of November (39-30), enjoy the local parties, nice and sweet meals. No big restaurants around or hotels. Most of the travelers spend the night at Xela.
About the church at Xecul
It really seems impossible to ask for more color and creativity. Is just an explosion of color, angels and flowers. Some find it interesting, as a pure and almost naive expression, some others can't seem to find it nothing but confusing... :)
Yes, the images are unconventional. Some are like resting and thinking. Others sing while others even representing sacred scenarios, steal a smile or two at first sight. One detail captures the attention: their black sucks really make contrast with the rest of the image.
The church was restored in 1999 but the true date of the foundation is still unknown. Inside you find tender expressions of faith by the locals.
It's image has traveled around the world as a unique place. The colors are not among the common or traditional ones at any local church, but without a doubt dresses with happiness and joy the scene.
Getting to San Andres Xecul
When you enter Xela by the CA1 "Interamericana", you will turn left at one gas station near the signs of "Pollo Campero" (roasted chicken). From there, a downhill takes you to another turn where the main road continues to your left and another one goes to your right. Here you can ask for you to be sure or just get there going uphill. From there, follow this road for 5 minutes and you will be at San Andres Xecul.
There are no big hotels or fancy restaurants there but you can enjoy local and traditional meals. Spend the night at Xela, the largest modern city nearby.
If you are coming from Xela to Xecul, the road first takes you out via Salcaja, then follow the same directions. Nearby you can take buses to Totonicapan, Huehuetenango, Solola or back to Guatemala City.
Enjoy your trip in Guatemala.
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