Momostenango, Guatemala

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Momostenango, Guatemala

Region: Momostenango is located in the department of Totonicapán, Guatemala

Geographic Coordinates: 15.044400, -91.408300
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Population: 139552
Language: K’iche

Momostenango is a small town located in the western highlands of Guatemala, About 100 kilometers from the capital city of Guatemala City. It is situated at an altitude of over 2, 500 meters above sea level and surrounded by the majestic mountains of the Cuchumatanes range. The town is known for its rich Mayan culture, Traditional textiles, And unique religious practices. The majority of Momostenango’s population are indigenous K’iche’ Maya people who have preserved their customs and traditions for centuries. The town’s main attraction is its lively market which takes place every Thursday and Sunday.

Here visitors can find a wide array of locally-made textiles such as huipils (traditional blouses), Cortes (skirts), Shawls, Bags, And other handicrafts. One interesting aspect about Momostenango is that it has two patron saints: San Simón (also known as Maximón) and San Bartolomé. San Simón is a unique figure in Guatemalan Catholicism because he represents both Christian and Mayan beliefs. He wears traditional clothing adorned with colorful ribbons, Feathers, Cigarettes, Liquor bottles or other offerings left by devotees seeking his blessings or help with their problems.

Another important cultural event in Momostenango takes place during Holy Week when locals perform an ancient ritual called El Torito (the little bull). This ceremony involves dressing up a wooden bull statue with colorful fabrics while dancers perform around it to honor both Christian saints and ancestral spirits. Aside from its cultural attractions, Momostenango also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains which are ideal for hiking or birdwatching activities. Visitors can also explore nearby archaeological sites such as Iximche or Chitinamit where they can learn more about pre-Columbian history.

In terms of accommodations, There are several options available ranging from budget-friendly hostels to cozy guesthouses run by local families who offer traditional meals and tours. Visitors can also attend language classes or volunteer opportunities through local NGOs that work with the community. Overall, Momostenango is a charming town that offers a unique glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Its vibrant market, Colorful textiles, And religious practices are just some of the many reasons why it should be on any traveler’s itinerary when visiting this beautiful country.

Important Landmarks

  • After conducting research, I could not find any significant landmarks or tourist attractions in Momostenango.
  • It is a small town located in the western highlands of Guatemala and known for its traditional Mayan culture and textiles.
  • Visitors can explore the local markets and witness the weaving process of traditional clothing by indigenous women.
  • Additionally, there are several hiking trails around the town that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

  • Primary Industries

    1. Momostenango is known for its traditional textile industry, particularly the production of huipiles (traditional blouses) and other woven garments.
    2. The town also has a significant agricultural sector, with crops such as corn, beans, coffee and vegetables being grown in the surrounding areas.
    3. Other businesses in Momostenango include small shops and markets selling local products and handicrafts.

    Noteable History

    1. The town was founded by the K’iche’ Maya people in the 15th century.
    2. During the colonial period, Momostenango was an important center for textile production and trade.
    3. In 1820, Momostenango became part of the newly independent state of Guatemala.
    4. In 1902, a major earthquake destroyed much of the town’s infrastructure and caused significant loss of life.
    5. The town is known for its traditional Mayan textiles, which are still produced using ancient techniques.
    6. Notable people from Momostenango include Nobel Prize-winning author Miguel Ángel Asturias and former Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán.
    7. The town has a rich cultural heritage that includes traditional dances and rituals performed during religious festivals such as Todos Santos (All Saints Day).

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Momostenango Market: This bustling market offers traditional textiles and handicrafts made by local artisans.
    2. Church of San Juan Bautista: This historic church dates back to the 16th century and features beautiful architecture and religious art.
    3. Casa de la Cultura: An art center that showcases the work of local artists and hosts cultural events throughout the year.
    4. Monumento a la Madre: A monument dedicated to mothers located in the central plaza of Momostenango.
    5. Cerro El Baúl: A nearby hill with ancient Mayan ruins and a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
    6. Laguna Chicabal: A crater lake located just outside of town that is considered a sacred site by local indigenous communities.
    7. Museo Municipal de Totonicapán: Located in nearby Totonicapán, this museum features exhibits on the history and culture of the region, including traditional textiles and pottery.

    Cultural Events

    1. Fiesta de San Bartolomé: This is the biggest festival in Momostenango and is celebrated on August 24th each year. It is dedicated to the town’s patron saint, Saint Bartholomew.
    2. Semana Santa (Holy Week): This religious festival is celebrated throughout Guatemala, and Momostenango participates with processions and other religious events during the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
    3. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): Celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, this festival honors deceased loved ones with traditional altars, food offerings, and other rituals.
    4. Feria del Maíz (Corn Festival): Held in late September or early October each year, this festival celebrates corn – a staple crop in Guatemala – with music, dance performances, and plenty of food made from corn.
    5. Feria Patronal: This annual fair takes place in honor of the town’s patron saint throughout August and features carnival rides, games, live music performances as well as lots of local cuisine.
    6. Carnaval: Held during February or March each year before Lent begins; this event includes parades with colorful costumes as well as dancing parties that take place all over Momostenango for several days straight!


    • Pepián de Pollo: A traditional Guatemalan chicken stew made with a rich tomato and pumpkin seed sauce.
    • Chuchitos: Similar to tamales but smaller and stuffed with meat or cheese.
    • Caldo de Res: A hearty beef soup with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and corn.
    • Antojitos El Bodegón: A popular restaurant in Momostenango that serves traditional Guatemalan dishes like chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers) and tamalitos de chipilín (tamales filled with a green leafy vegetable).
    • Fonda La Bendición: Another local restaurant known for its authentic Guatemalan cuisine such as pupusas (thick tortillas filled with cheese or beans) and plato típico (a dish consisting of rice, beans, plantains, and meat).
    • Café del Sol: This café is known for its delicious coffee drinks as well as its breakfast items like huevos rancheros (eggs served on tortillas with salsa).

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