|Mayan Medicine Museum, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas|
Throughout Chiapas the Mayan peoples have maintained a strong sense of their ethnic heritage. Traditional healing practices are still in use, often in preference to those offered by Western medicine. These Mayan healing rituals are often performed using Christian symbols, such as crosses and saints and traditional practices and beliefs are combined with those of Christianity. The photo above shows a room where there is a healer working. His client is seated in the chair as he prays over the candles in a room filled with Catholic saints dressed in the manner they often are in areas with a strong Mayan influence.
The link below is to a video where you will see another Mayan healer working in a chapel of the church of La Merced in San Cristóbal. It is not unusual to see these healers (also referred to as shamans) performing their rituals, including sacrificing chickens, within the confines of a Catholic church in San Cristóbal and the region. The Roman Catholic church in Chiapas has tolerated indigenous beliefs and practices resulting in a religious world that is unique and fascinating to experience. All of this comes out clearly in the video.