Radio Station Revives Mayan Culture

December 14, 2012

By Brenna Goth for the Arizona Sonora News Service

Rosendo Pablo, founder of Radio Xob'il Yol Qman Txun, stands in front of the station. Pablo founded the radio after returning to Todos Santos from the United States. (Photo by: Brenna Goth)

Rosendo Pablo, founder of Radio Xob’il Yol Qman Txun, stands in front of the station. Pablo founded the radio after returning to Todos Santos from the United States. (Photo by: Brenna Goth)

TODOS SANTOS CUCHUMATÁN, GUATEMALA – There’s a new road to Todos Santos.

It used to be an uncomfortable daytrip from the departmental capital of Huehuetenango to this one-street town, tucked between mountains in northwestern Guatemala. The highway is mostly paved now, and those 17 miles of switchbacks climbing 10,000 feet only take an hour or two.

Those mountains protected Todos Santos and kept it nearly impermeable to the outside influences that caused other Mayan groups to lose their language and customs dating back to Spanish colonization. Separated by those 17 miles, Todos Santos was once a world away.

Today, Todos Santos is looking more like the rest of the world.

Delivery trucks cart in trays of Pepsi-Cola and Gallo beer for people to enjoy with their chicken, beans and tortillas. People stop into competing Tigo and Claro cell phone shops to buy more credits to text their friends. Teenagers walk around in their traditional red-and-white striped pants paired with shirts that have “Hollister” and “Guess” emblazoned across the chest.

Read more at the Arizona Sonora News Service.

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This entry was posted by Border Journalism Network.

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