15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Pach'un tzij The Poem 1

Making offerings and showing gratitude is part of the ancestral practice of the Maya. Caring for and respecting communal lands and sacred places is a part of daily existence. Don Matias is carefully placing candles around this small altar in a hidden cave in the mountains of the Verapaces in Guatemala. As an elder, he is one of the members of this small community chosen to perform these rituals which are done four times a year; first to ask for the crops, and then again to give thanks for the harvest.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2016
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © G g