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Chiapa de Corzo is a small city and (municipality) situated in the west-central part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. Located in the Grijalva River valley of the Chiapas highlands, Chiapa de Corzo lies some 15 km (9.3 mi) to the east of the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Chiapa has been occupied since at least 1400 BCE, with a major archeological site which reached it height between 700 BCE and 200 CE. It is important because the earliest inscribed date, the earliest form of hieroglyphic writing and the earliest Mesoamerican tomb burial have all been found here. Chiapa is also the site of the first Spanish city founded in Chiapas in 1528. However, because of the climate, most Spanish would move into the mountains to found what is now known as San Cristóbal de las Casas. Chiapa would be left to the indigenous and to the Dominican friars and called Chiapa de los Indios (with San Cristobal known as Chiapa de los Españoles). The current name was created to honor Liberal politician Angel Albino Corzo.
The town/municipality is located about fifteen km from the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and connected to the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas via Federal Highway 190 also known as the Panamerican Highway . The town is located along the Grijalva River and has one of the main docks along this waterway. The town is laid out in Spanish style, centered on a very large plaza which the municipality claims is larger than the Zocalo, or main plaza of Mexico City .

This plaza has a number of important features. The largest and best known is the La Pila fountain. This was constructed in 1562 in Moorish style, made of brick in the form of a diamond. The structure is attributed to Dominican brother Rodrigo de León. It measures fifty two meters in circumference and twelve meters in height. It has eight arches and a cylindrical tower which occasionally functioned as a watchtower. Another important feature is the La Pochota kapok tree. According to tradition, the Spanish town was founded around this tree. The last feature is a clock tower which was constructed in the 1950s. The town’s main structures are centered on this plaza, including the municipal palace and the former home of Liberal governor Angel Albino Corzo, for whom the town is partially named. One side of the plaza is taken by the “portales” a series of arches initially built in the 18th century, which contain a number of businesses. Unlike many towns, the main church does not face this plaza. It is set back from it about a block.
The Santo Domingo church and former monastery is the largest structure in the town, set on a small hill overlooking the river.(sectorchiapas) It is locally known as the “Iglesia Grande” or Big Church. The structure was built in the second half of the 16th century and attributed to Pedro de Barrientos and Juan Alonso. The church is one of the best preserved from the 16th century in Chiapas. It has three naves, a coffered ceiling and cupolas above the presbytery and intersection. It is based on the Moorish churches of the Seville region in Spain, but it also has Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical influences. Its main bell tower has the largest bells in the country. The main altar of the church is only about two decades old and made of cedar, designed in Puebla. The entire piece is supposed to be gilded but so far only a small area in the upper part has had this treatment. The gold used here is 24 carat from Italy and measures two meters by eighty centimeters. The work cost 150,000 pesos, which was collected through raffles and donations for the project. To finish the work, another half a million pesos is needed. Other images in the church include an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Saint Joseph, the Archangel Michael, Saint Dominic and Saint Sebastian . The church complex is partially maintained by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) .

To the side of the Big Church is the former Dominican monastery. This structure has been restored to house exhibition halls, including those associated with the Museo de la Laca (Lacquer Museum) . The most important craft in the municipality is the working of wood, often with these pieces glazed in lacquer. One item is the masks used for traditional dances such as Parachicos. Another is the popular musical instrument the marimba. Lacquer is used on wooden items and other things such as gourds. It is decorative, often with intricate designs. This craft is locally called “laca.”

Other important churches in the town include the Calvario and the San Sebastian. The Calvario Church is from the 17th century. It was remodeled in Gothic Revival architecture at the beginning of the 19th century. Its interior conserves a wooden relief which was part of the Santo Domingo Church. San Sebastian is a church in ruins located on the San Gregorio hill. It was constructed in the 17th century when the city was at its height. It had three naves separated by archways. However, only its apse and facade remain with elements of Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque elements.

The municipality Chiapa de Corzo is the local governing authority for 83 other communities, all of which are considered rural for a total territory of 906.7km2. These communities include Julián Grajales, Las Flechas, Salvador Urbina, El Palmar San Gabriel, Caleció Narcia, Ignacio Allende, Venustiano Carranza and Nicolás Bravo. ) Twenty three percent of the municipality’s land is communally owned in ejidos with the rest either privately owned or parkland. The municipality borders the municipalities of Soyaló, Osumacinta, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Suchiapa, Villaflores, Zinacantán, Ixtapa, Acala and Villa Corzo. The municipality has 233.55 km of principal roadways, divided among rural roads managed by SCT, the Comisión Estatal de Campinos, the Secretaría de Obras Públicas, Desarrollo Rural, Defensa Nacional and the Comisión Nacional del Agua.

Throughout the municipality, festivals, music and cuisine are similar. The Festival of the Señor de El Calvario is a social and religious event which occurs on 7 October. It honors an image of Christ with masses, popular dances, fireworks and amusement rides along with cultural and sporting events. The Fiesta Grande is celebrated from 15 to 23 January and it is the most important for the year. The marimba is the most often heard instrument at festivals and parties. The main dishes include stews with potatoes and squash seeds, pork with rice and tamales. Cochito is pork cooked in an adobo sauce. It is popular throughout the state but important in Chiapa de Corzo for the Comida Grande which is served during the Festival of San Sebastian in January. Another is a beef dish where the meat is dried then fried then served with a sauce made from squash seeds, green tomatoes and achiote. Typical sweets are also made with squash seeds. A typical cold drink is pozol .

Historically, the dominant indigenous ethnicity has been the Zoques and there are still Zoque communities in the municipality. As of 2005, there were 2,899 people who spoke an indigenous language, out of a total of over 60,000. Most of the municipality’s population is young with 64% under the age of thirty and the average age of twenty one. The rate of population growth is just over three percent, which is above the state average of 2.06%. The population of the municipality is expected to double within twenty three years. Over 48% of the population lives in the city proper and the rest live in the 276 rural communities. Population density is at 67 inhabitants per square kilometers, below the regional average of 75/km2 but above the state average of 52. The average woman has 2.89 children which is below the state average of 3.47. Over 76% of the population is Catholic with about 13percent belonging to a Protestant or other Christian group. Illiteracy as of 2000 was at just under twenty percent, down from just under twenty five percent in 1990. Of those over 15 years of age, just under 25% have not completed primary school, about 17% with primary completed and over 35% having education above the primary level.

According to Consejo Nacional de Población (CONAPO) the municipality has a high rate of socioeconomic marginalization, despite the fact that it is between the two least marginalized municipalities in the state, Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal. As of 2005, there were 16,327 residences. Just over 84% of homes are owned by their residents, with an average occupancy of 4.62 people per home, which is about state average. Over 28% of homes have dirt floors and about 64% have cement. About 62% of homes have cinderblock walls, and roofs are either made of tile (about 40%) and or a slab of concrete (about 30%). About 95% of homes have electricity, over 70% have running water and over 77% have sewerage, all above state average.

Over 35% of the municipality’s working population is in agriculture. Of these, about a third do not receive any salary for their work. Principle crops include corn, peanuts, sorghum, cotton, bananas, mangos, melons, jocote (Spondias purpurea), chard, lettuce and onions. Livestock includes cattle, pigs and domestic fowl as well as beekeeping. Fishing is limited to species such as mojarra and catfish. Just over 20% of the population is dedicated to industry, construction and transportation. The main industry is the Nestlé plant. There are also plants that manufacture plywood and bricks. There is also some handcraft workshops. Over 41% of the population is dedicated to commerce, services and tourism. One of the main tourist attractions for the municipality is the Sumidero Canyon, with the municipal docks on the Grijalva River mostly serving tour boats into the National Park up to the La Angostura Dam. Most commerce is small stores and commercial centers for local needs and some for tourism. Services include hotels, auto repair and professional services. There are three hotels with seventy nine rooms.

If you want to go to San Cristobal de las casas is not necesary to come back to Tuxla Guitierrez from Chiapas del Corzo to go San Cristobal de las casas, you just can take a bus from Chiapas del corzo directly and you don´t waste time and money.videos video photo photos pictures fotos United States Estados Unidos US USA travel trip holiday vacation vacaciones gratis free goplanettravel gotravelphoto
See also

Sumidero Canyon chai Chiapas del Corzo cahs San Cristobal de las casas chiapa San Juan Chamula chip Tuxtla Gutierrez chiapas Zinacatan chiapas Agua Azul falls chiapas Misol-Ha falls chiapas Palenque chiapas Restaurants in Chiapas chiapas Hostels in Chiapas

May 2008

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