San Juan La Laguna


In San Juan La Laguna there is a hill called Cristalina. “That hill is a hard hill,” said the grandparents when we were children.

Previously there the grandparents saw something. They saw a man who appeared on the hill and there is still the platform where he stood. That hill is made of pure stone, pure rock. The foot of the hill was a place of ceremonies. There was half a place for ceremonies and another at the summit. Previously, the people there were going to thank their riches and there they were going to ask too.

Before there was a character who stood on the hill. People had noticed that this character had a red suit, and from time to time, he would go down to the bottom of the hill. People found him very strange because his suit was all red and what he did was run around. Some people wanted to capture him, but he didn't let himself. He ran around and disappeared in front of them. That way he stayed for a long time. When that character went down to the bottom of the hill, the next day there people collected silver coins. Sometimes they picked up stones and found things underneath. The hill coin was silver. It was like that for a long time.

People didn't like that character and that because of the screams he gave every time he went down. He yelled a lot, besides, when he looked at the people, he insulted them, he told them “fish eaters fish eaters, they smell very ugly; they are stinking, ”that was what he told them. People didn't like that, that's why they chased him, that's why they chased him. Finally, that character was no longer seen.

When the character left, when they no longer saw him, everyone who found and collected silver coins felt bad. They no longer collected more silver coins, they no longer found those riches of the hill; for that man was the one who left the silver coins. Then the people understood that this character did not go down at the foot of the hill, to the flat part, but that he came to leave something. The people received something as a gift. When that character was still in San Juan La Laguna, there were many people who had money; They had old coins, they had silver coins. When that strange character disappeared, when no one else saw him; then little by little the wealth is over; poverty, misery, death that forced them to leave for other places in search of new sources of life fell on the people. Little by little the town was running out. Only then did they realize, they reasoned that all this had happened to them because they had treated that character badly. By detesting it they had problems. That was what our grandparents told us.

Cerro Cristalina San Juan
Photography: Frando Ujpán

Currently there is still the stone on the hill, where it remained, where the character was dancing. The stone is very large. Maybe it is about ten square meters wide; But now nobody is going to see, there is no one to go. People used to go often to celebrate ceremonies, they did it to ask, to thank their things.

Today there are no longer those who do that, however San Juan La Laguna had to go through serious problems when he treated the strange character badly.

  • RAPPORTEUR: Juan Manuel Mendoza
  • AGE: 50 years old
  • LANGUAGE: Tz’utujil
  • TOWN: San Juan La Laguna
  • COLLECTION: Daniel Mendoza Ujpán
  • TRANSLATION: Lorenzo Tuy Navichoc
  • PUBLISHED BY: Marcela Valdeavellano, San José, Costa Rica in Arteresponsable

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