Todos Santos Cuchumatán

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Todos Santos Cuchumatán
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Horse races in Todos Santos Cuchumatán
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Todos Santos Cuchumatán
Location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 15°31′0″N91°37′0″W / 15.51667°N 91.61667°W / 15.51667; -91.61667
Country Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
Department Flag of Huehuetenango.gif Huehuetenango
Municipality Todos Santos Cuchumatán
  Type Municipal
  Municipality269 km2 (104 sq mi)
2,500 m (8,200 ft)
Highest elevation
3,828 m (12,559 ft)
 (Census 2002) [1]
Mam Ladino
Roman Catholicism Evangelicalism Maya
Climate Cwb

Todos Santos Cuchumatán (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtoðosˈsantoskutʃumaˈtan] ) is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango. It is situated in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes at an elevation of 2,500 m (about 8,000 ft). The municipality covers an area of approximately 269 km2 and is formed by the town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán, 6 villages, and 69 smaller rural communities, called caserios, parajes, and cantones. [2] The village of San Martin Cuchumatán is the second largest urbanized centre in the municipality of Todos Santos. San Martin is also the agricultural heart of the Cuchumateca valley which produces crops like potatoes, broccoli and large scale cultivation of coffee on the lower mountain slopes of the municipality.


The population of Todos Santos is predominantly indigenous, of Mayan descent, most of whom still speak the Mayan language of Mam. The town is one of few places in Guatemala where indigenous men still wear their traditional clothing, along with the women. [3]

An annual festival is celebrated on October 31–November 2, and is centered on All Saints' Day on November 1 ("Todos Santos" translates to "all saints" in English). Festivities include traditional dances, marimba music and the famous horse races. The horse races are often the scene of mayhem and bloodshed due to the riders' penchant to drink alcohol for days leading up to the races even though the mayor banned the selling of hard alcohol in May 2008. [4]

In May 2000, a group of tourists from Japan and a bus driver were attacked by a large mob [5] after members of the group took pictures of local children. The Guatemalan bus driver was doused with gasoline and burned to death, and one member of the Japanese tour group was stoned to death. Two other tourists were injured along with two police officers. [6]

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  1. "XI Censo Nacional de Poblacion y VI de Habitación (Censo 2002)". INE. 2002.
  2. "Todos Santos Cuchumatán - Diagnóstico Socioeconómico, potencialidades productivas y propuestas de inversión" (PDF). Universidad de San Carlos, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, EPS. 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  3. Pancorbo, Luis (1996). Fiestas del Mundo. Las Máscaras de la Luna. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. pp. 51–59. ISBN   84-7628-168-4.
  4. "Moonshine turns Mayan horse race in Guatemala rowdy". Reuters. November 2, 2009.
  5. Miranda, Ricardo (August 4, 2000). "Ugly lynchings in Guatemala a legacy of war". The Globe And Mail.
  6. City, Ibon Villelabeitia in Guatemala (2000-05-01). "Mayan mob kills two 'baby stealers'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-12-08.

Other resources

Scenery of Todos Santos Cuchumatan TodosSantos-001.jpg
Scenery of Todos Santos Cuchumatán

15°31′N91°37′W / 15.517°N 91.617°W / 15.517; -91.617