San Andrés Xecul
San Andrés Xecul is in Guatemala.
San Andrés Xecul is a sleepy K'iche' Maya village about 10 miles outside Quetzaltenango, most famous for its colourful church.
The road to San Andrés Xecul turns west off from the old main road between Salcajá and Cuatro Caminos, close to a petrol station, just under a kilometer west of Cuatro Caminos, at a right-angle bend in the road. You can flag down buses and microbuses there as they turn in, or walk the two miles (3.5km) to the village.
- Church. The village is most famous for the elaborate facade of its Catholic church.
- San Simón (Maximón). Although not as famous as San Simón of Zunil, this local deity is also worshipped in San Andrés in a mixture of Maya and Roman Catholic religion. The image of the deity is a mannequin that the local cofradía (brotherhood) tend, burning candles, offering cigarettes and liquor, and carrying our rituals. The custodians charge for entry, with extra to take photos. The mannequín is regularly moved between houses of members of the cofradía, so you will need to ask around to find where it is currently housed. Be respectful - the locals take his worship very seriously.
- San Cristóbal Totonicapán - the neighbouring village is pleasant, with a large colonial church.
- Salcajá - another neighbouring village, whose claim to fame is the hermitage of Concepción La Conquistadora, the first church founded in Central America. Also known for its sales of Maya textiles.