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Chichicastenango and the “Palo Volador”

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Surrounded by ridges Chichicastenango the K’iche’ town is home to some of the most well known dances of Guatemala. Every year “El Palo Volador” dance in honor of the town’s patron saint St Thomas takes place. The dance involves three characters: monkey, lion and cougar. All while music is played in a marimba of Tecomates.

The town fair of Chichicastenango lasts from December 14th until december 22, the main day is December 21st. At 101km west of Antigua Guatemala this is the most accessible of the “Palo Volador” dances.

A man plays the flute in Chichicastenango, making way for the “Cofradía de Santo Tomás” during the town fair. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A traditional dancer dressed as a “Balam” or jaguar before the main dance of El Palo Volador. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Cofrades at the entrance of the church of Saint Thomas in Chichicastenango. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Cofrades at the entrance of the church of Saint Thomas in Chichicastenango. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Cofrades at the entrance of the church of Saint Thomas in Chichicastenango. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A local spiritual guide blesses the tree for the dance of El Palo Volador, in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Faithful in Chichicastenango, during the town’s fair in honor of Saint Thomas. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A monkey dancer climbs the tree, in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Monkey dancers prepare the ropes before dancing the fly. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Young boys observe the dance of “El Palo Volador” in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A traditional dancer holds his mask as he descends from “El Palo Volador”. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A traditional dancer dressed as a “Balam” or jaguar climbs “El Palo Volador”. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Traditional dancers descend during “El Palo Volador” in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

A dancer dressed as a “Balam” or Jaguar is seen by a large crown in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

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