Todos Santos Cuchumatán

Last updated
Todos Santos Cuchumatán
Guatemala todos santos 2981a.jpg
Horse races in Todos Santos Cuchumatán
Guatemala location map.svg
Red pog.svg
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:  [ˈtoðos ˈsantos kutʃumaˈtan] ) 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]

Related Research Articles

Chiapas State of Mexico

Chiapas, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas, is one of the states that make up the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 124 municipalities as of September 2017 and its capital city is Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Other important population centers in Chiapas include Ocosingo, Tapachula, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Comitán and Arriaga. It is the southernmost state in Mexico, and it borders the states of Oaxaca to the west, Veracruz to the northwest and Tabasco to the north, and the Petén, Quiché, Huehuetenango, and San Marcos departments of Guatemala to the east and southeast. Chiapas has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Quiché Department Department of Guatemala

Quiché is a department of Guatemala. It is in the heartland of the K'iche' (Quiché) people, to the north-west of Guatemala City. The capital is Santa Cruz del Quiché. The word K'iche comes from the language of the same name, which means "many trees".

Mam is a Mayan language spoken by about half a million Mam people in the Guatemalan departments of Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, and Retalhuleu, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. Thousands more make up a Mam diaspora throughout the United States and Mexico, with notable populations living in Oakland, California and Washington, D.C.

Los Patios Municipality in North of Santander, Colombia

Los Patios is a municipality and town in the Department of Norte de Santander, northeastern Colombia. As of 2012, it has a population of 77,588

Chisec Municipality in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Chisec is a town and municipality in the north of the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz that was founded in 1813. It is situated at 230 metres (755 ft) above sea level. The municipality covers a territory of 1244 km². Approximately 95% of the municipality's inhabitants are Mayan, spread over the town of Chisec and approximately 140 communities. The Q'eqchi' language is widely spoken there alongside Spanish.

San Pedro Soloma Municipality in Huehuetenango, Guatemala

San Pedro Solóma is a town and municipality of Huehuetenango, a department of Guatemala. It is located in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes at 2,300 m above sea level. The municipality covers a total area of 264 km2 with elevations ranging from 1,900 m to 3,500 m. Its population of 49,030 is spread over the town of Soloma, 19 villages and 50 smaller rural communities (caserios).

Santiago Chimaltenango Municipality in Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Santiago Chimaltenango is a town and municipality in the Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango. Named in honor of the Apostle St James. The annual celebrations are from July 21 to July 25. It is estimated that roughly 10% of the population is abroad mainly in the American states of California and Florida. The cities of Oakland and Los Angeles having the largest populations. The Mam people are the predominant people in the municipality.

Sibilia, Quetzaltenango Place in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Sibilia is a municipality in the Quetzaltenango department of Guatemala. Sibilia derives from the Spanish town/word Seville or in the Spanish tongue Sevilla. However, the writer José Luís García A. related that this town founded by Spaniards had been designated as Seville. But, due to a variation in pronunciation, this name became popularly known as Sibilia, since 1887. Predominantly a town of Ladino people with very few indigenous people from Guatemala.

Esquipulas Palo Gordo Municipality in San Marcos, Guatemala

Esquipulas Palo Gordo is a town and municipality in the San Marcos department of Guatemala. The town was founded on 24 December 1826 year. In the 1920s it was merged with San Marcos, but in 1948 it recovered its autonomy again.

Nahualá Municipality in Sololá, Guatemala

Nahualá is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. The town is sometimes known as Santa Catarina Nahualá in honor of the town's patron saint, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, but the official name is just "Nahualá". Formerly, the town's name was written Nagualá, and earlier transcriptions of the name in colonial documents include Nauala, Niguala, Niuala, and Navala.

Huastec language Mayan language of central Mexico

The Wasteko (Huasteco) language of Mexico is spoken by the Huastecos living in rural areas of San Luis Potosí and northern Veracruz. Though relatively isolated from them, it is related to the Mayan languages spoken further south and east in Mexico and Central America. According to the 2005 population census, there are about 200,000 speakers of Huasteco in Mexico. The language and its speakers are also called Teenek, and this name has gained currency in Mexican national and international usage in recent years.

The Xinka, or Xinca, are a non-Mayan indigenous people of Mesoamerica, with communities in the southern portion of Guatemala, near its border with El Salvador, and in the mountainous region to the north.

Mam people

The Mam are an indigenous people in the western highlands of Guatemala and in south-western Mexico who speak the Mam language.

Poqomam is a Mayan language, closely related to Poqomchiʼ. It is spoken by 50,000 or so people in several small pockets in Guatemala, the largest of which is in Jalapa department.

Esparza (canton) canton in Puntarenas province, Costa Rica

Esparza is a canton in the Puntarenas province of Costa Rica. The head city is Esparza in Espíritu Santo district.

Obispo may refer to:

Ixil people Ethnic group in Guatemala

The Ixil are a Maya people indigenous to Guatemala. The Ixil live in three municipalities in the Cuchumatanes mountains in the northern part of the department El Quiché. These municipalities, also known as the Ixil Triangle, are Santa Maria Nebaj, San Gaspar Chajul, and San Juan Cotzal.

The Chuj or Chuh are a Maya people, whose homeland is in Guatemala and Mexico. Population estimates vary between 30,000 and over 60,000. Their indigenous language is also called Chuj and belongs to the Q'anjobalan branch of Mayan languages. In Guatemala, most Chuj live in the department of Huehuetenango in the municipalities of San Mateo Ixtatán and San Sebastián Coatán.

Maud Van Cortlandt Oakes (1903–1990) was an ethnologist, artist and writer who published her research into the cultures of indigenous tribes in the Americas, including the Navajo of the American Southwest and the Mam of Guatemala. She is best known for her books recording these tribes' ceremonies, art and stories.

Olivia Lucia Carrescia is an American independent filmmaker best known for her documentary trilogy on the indigenous Maya of Todos Santos Cuchumatán, a traditional village in highland Guatemala. The films have been distributed internationally and purchased by Latin American Studies Departments of every major university in the United States.


  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.

Other resources

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

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