Mexican culture flourishes in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

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Mexico’s southernmost state barely registers with those of us seeking a sunny break. Without the easy familiarity of resorts like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun, plus a longer traveling time to get there and less English spoken by locals, Chiapas takes more effort, but the payoff is grand – rich, authentic Mexican culture at every turn in the road.  

Begin in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital and home of the Marimba Museum as well as the Marimba Park, one of the most popular places in town. It’s thought that African slaves brought the marimba – a type of xylophone made from wood – to Mexico, but it’s so ingrained in the lives of Chiapanecos that they’re credited with perfecting it.

Watch couples dance to the lively and distinctly Chiapan beat of multiple marimba players on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at seven.

Marimba players playing in Chiapas, Mexico.
Marimba players playing in Chiapas, Mexico. Photo by Getty Images

Across the street, at the Marimba Museum, you’ll see dozens of styles of marimbas and an audio kiosk where you can hear famous pieces performed by different players. Better yet, hit the road and listen for the melodic sounds of marimba carried on warm evening breezes at public parks across the state and especially in Comitan, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapa de Corzo, Tapachula, and Palenque.


With information from the Vancouver Sun

San Cristobal Post