Dozens of eyes peer into a room tucked into Santiago Atitlán’s quiet backstreets, the small space packed to overflowing with visitors who come to give offerings and greet the Maya deity Maximón. At the center, a wooden carved effigy of the deity lies on a straw mat. Resting at his feet, a small platter is filled with Quetzales notes, a symbol of Maximón’s belovedness within the indigenous community of Santiago.
To the Tz’utijil Maya, Maximon is also known as the Rilaj Mam or “great grandfather” of the indigenous community of Santiago Atitlán. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite