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Chiapas

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Chiapas
Location
Chiapas en México.svg
Flag
Flag of Chiapas.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Government Mexican State
Currency Mexican Peso (MXN)
Area 73,311 km2
Population 4,983,116(2012 est.)
Language Spanish, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chontal, Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Chuj, Kanjobal, Acatec, Jacaltec, Motozintlec(No official language)
Religion Roman Catholic 58.3%, No-Religion 12.1%, Other 29.6%
Electricity 127V/60Hz(North American(U.S.) plug)
Time Zone UTC -6/-5

Chiapas is a state on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

A typical roadside scene in Chiapas

Understand[edit]

Weekend Market in Oxchuc

Chiapas is a pretty compact state that packs plenty in for the interested traveler, from pristine lakes, rivers and national parks, to fascinating and friendly Mexican pueblos.

It is a mountainous area, so you might want to bring warm clothes and a sleeping bag, as budget hotels can be a bit on the stingy side with blankets. Getting around the state is fast and hassle-free, as places of interest are all conveniently close to each other, so long bus rides are not necessary.

The major destinations are San Cristobal and Palenque, but if you can allow yourself more time to get off the beaten track, you will be rewarded with some magical experiences. At times, Chiapas feels like a Mexican wonderland, and sparing the major attractions, you'll likely have it all to yourself.

The entrance to Canon del Sumidero

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Suggested reading[edit]

  • The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene. Graham Greene describes his journey to San Cristobal de las Casas through Chiapas and Tabasco in the 1930s. (ISBN 0140185801)
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. A whiskey priest, a corrupt church, and Chiapas all set in one of Greene's most powerful books. (ISBN 0140184996)

The recent history of Chiapas is strongly connected with the Zapatista Movement EZLN ciudad de ocosingo

Talk[edit]

Most people will speak Spanish, but this is less common among the indigenous peoples, where Tsotsil and Tseltal are the most common languages. Very few who can speak English, almost always very badly.

Get in[edit]

Chiapas is about as far south as you can get in Mexico. It borders Guatemala on the southeast, the Pacific on the southwest, and the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Yucatan from west to northeast. It has a small international airport in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and is also connected by highways (some are toll roads, or cuota) with the surrounding states and Guatemala.

Get around[edit]

The easiest way to get around within cities is probably by private car, taxi, or colectivo. Colectivos are small vans or buses that are very cheap and follow specific routes. The main destinations on the route of each colectivo are listed on the right side of its windshield, though it is sometimes hard to tell if it is really going your way. Asking the driver usually works, but don't expect him or her to speak English.

Outside of cities, the best way to get around is by private car, bus (slow, with frequent stops), colectivo (a little more expensive than in the city), taxis, or pickups (camionetas). Taxis outside of cities charge very high rates if it is not their regular route, so make sure the driver knows you do not want a "viaje especial" (special trip). Sharing taxis is very common, and almost universal outside cities. The pickups that are for public transportation are usually identifiable. Try to get a seat in the cab, unless you enjoy being pressed against a large group of sweaty locals in the hot sun. Pickups are also fairly slow and make frequent stops, but they are faster than the bus.

See[edit][add listing]

Itineraries[edit]

Christmas Tree Falls in Canon del Sumidero

Do[edit][add listing]

Volunteering[edit]

  • Volunteer as a Human Rights Observer in the autonomous Zapatista communities contact Capise (brigadas@capise.org.mx) for short (5 days) activities or for longer volunteership contact Frayba [1].
  • Participate as a volunteer or group coordinator on sustainable projects in Maya communities. The NGO NATATE A.C. [2] focuses on the following fields: alternative technologies, waste managment, water(capture and filtering), Education, reforestation, construction. Opportunities are available for short and long term voluntary service.

Learn[edit]

  • Immerse yourself in the Maya culture and get to know traditions, languages and communities with La Casa en el Arbol [3]. You may may learn Spanish as well as Maya languages such as Tostsil and Tseltal.

You may also volunteer as part of one of two yearly excursions into the Lacondon jungle with Pastors for Peace. Humanitarian Aid is raised on two tours of US cities which convene in San Antonio, Texas before crossing the border into Reynosa, MX and driving the Eastern Seaboard of Mexico and into the Cloud Forest of Chiapas before settling into the beautiful city of San Cristobal De Las Casas, MX. Visit: IFCOnews.org for more information.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Mole Like happiness sauce.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Pozol. Choclate/Maize drink from Chiapas.  edit


Stay safe[edit]

Like any other city and remote location in the world has its problem, but be aware of your personal belongings all the time, and do not walk with jewelry and expensive objects in sight. Chiapas is usually in secure state, where the warmth of people will make you feel at home.

Get out[edit]




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