Pinhole: Moncho’s Birthday


Maximón is, undeniably, an important part of Guatemala’s folklore. Although many people often misunderstand what he represents, almost everyone in the country knows who he is, and a few people even pay tribute to him. A lot of his most devout followers can be found in the Temple of Maximón in San Andrés Itzapa, a town located 22.1km northwest of La Antigua Guatemala.

October 28, the day of the Feast of St. Simon the Zealot and St. Jude Thaddeus, is an important day at the Temple for those who follow the syncretic deity. It is the day in which they celebrate its “birthday”. So, people gather at the Temple’s courtyard with live music, food, drink, and tobacco in honour of Maximón and St. Simon. Tributes in the form of alcohol, tobacco, and flowers are left before the deity, and several rituals are held throughout the day.

Worshipers of San Simón in their Temple light candles and perform cleansing during the celebrations of the popular Saint. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Douglas, 25, wears a pendant with the image of Guadalupe’s Virgin. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Worshipers burn offerings during the celebrations of the “Brithday of San Simón”. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Sandra Juárez, has been a devout for 28 years she traveled 140km to reach the temple and make her offering. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Yuder Silva carries an image of San Simón. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Worshipers smoke cigars as part of a clensing ritual during the celebrations of San Simón. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


A small sculpture of San Simón in the back of a truck holds a 20Q bill (USD2.70) photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


Ginger Casambrita Cabrera Atz’s father lights her cigar. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


A tequila stand at the entrance of the temple of San Simón. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite


A woman dances to the beat of live music during the celebrations of San Simón.temala

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