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Esquipulas is located in Guatemala
Location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 14°37′N 89°12′W / 14.617°N 89.200°W / 14.617; -89.200Coordinates: 14°37′N 89°12′W / 14.617°N 89.200°W / 14.617; -89.200
Country Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
Department ..Chiquimula Flag(GUATEMALA).png Chiquimula Department
Climate Aw

Esquipulas (Nahuatl: Isquitzuchil, "place where flowers abound"),[1] Officially Municipality of Esquipulas, whose original name was Yzquipulas[2] - is a municipality located in the department of Chiquimula, in eastern Guatemala, the largest city and capital of the municipality is the city of Esquipulas. This city is known as the main point of Central Catholic pilgrimage, as it is the place where they worship the Black Christ of Esquipulas. It is also one of the most important cities of the country and one that has had the most economic and cultural growth.[3]

In 2002 it was registered in the tentative list of World Heritage of UNESCO.[4]

It is a city with a tourist attraction, ecotourism and religious variety, it is the most visited city and town across eastern Guatemala and the second most visited in the country, surpassed only by the City of Guatemala, visited by approximately four five million tourists annually and devout Catholics,[5][6][7] this due to its important and varied religious resorts and distributed in the 532 km2,[8] the smallest city was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1996 which entitled him recognition as Capital Central to the Faith,[9] whose recognition is currently known as to this city, which was also visited by Teresa of Calcutta,[10] hosted the Esquipulas Peace Accords during the mid-1980s.[11] The Basilica of Esquipulas headquarters in Central Catholic Faith is the first wonder of Guatemala competition held by the Industrial Bank on November 26, 2008.[11]

Territorial has an area of 532 square kilometers, distributed in 20 villages, 123 sub villages, and one city and two villas which are Timushán Chanmagua and has a total population in 2012 of 56.258 inhabitants and the City Esquipulas has a population of 29.260 which represents 55% of the total population of the municipality. The city of Esquipulas is located 222 kilometers from Guatemala City, at 9.5 kilometers from the border with the Republic of Honduras and 45 kilometers from the city of Chiquimula, bordered to the north with the municipalities of Olopa, Jocotán and department Camotán Chiquimula. On the south by the municipality of Metapan, El Salvador. The east with the departments of Copán and Ocotepeque, Honduras and the west with the municipality of Concepción Las Minas and Resume Chiquimula department, Guatemala.



The northern region and center of Esquipulas is located within the geographical area known as Region Ch'orti ' of Guatemala. Chorti culture and the Kingdom Payaki or Payaqui which was notable for leaving some of their old architectures developed within this municipality.[7]

Culture Chorti[edit]

The first settlers were descendants from Maya people of Copán (archaeological site) Copán, Honduras who came to these lands, shortly after they were forming groups or ethnic groups including ethnic Ch'orti ', these moved Esquipulas after leaving or moving of its ancient cities, this culture achievement develop for several years, even after of the Spanish conquest these were gradually disappearing from the municipality and moved to other municipality such as Camotan, Chiquimula and Jocotan, although they reached the Valley of Esquipulas, this culture is developed more in the villages Timushan and Chanmagua.[12]

Kingdom Payaqui[edit]

Siglo XVI[edit]

Another ethnic group who lived in this municipality was ethnically Payaqui. The priest Topiltzín Axcitl or Nacxit was the founder of the Kingdom Payaqui. The origin of this town, is located in the depths of the mystery of the cultura maya (the name Isquitzuchil´ appears in the history from the earliest times in 1,000 BC).

Spanish colonization[edit]

After the arrival of the Spaniards to Guatemala in South Mexico from 1523, they arrived at Esquipulas in 1525, which were found with the Chorti of the area inhabitants, they lived with the Chorti people and imposed all non-believers Catholic doctrine, settled South of the Valley of the Monte Cristo and it was there where they founded the village of Yzquipulas. They formed a system of streets that ran from the main church which was the Santiago parish until the main aqueduct of the city, they built two seater (now the central park of Esquipulas and the Plaza of the municipality).[12]

Conquest of Isquitzuchil[edit]

In 1525 the captains Juan Pérez Dardón, Sancho de Barahona and Bartolomé Becerra under the command of Pedro de Alvarado conquered the province of Chiquimula the saw, and as a result, the Catholic religion imposed on conquered peoples. In April of 1530 the locals led by chieftains Copantl and Galel again revolted against the conquerors and as a result, Don Francisco de Orduña ordered the captains Pedro de Amalina and Hernando de Chávez that they leave from Mitlan to placate the rebellion in Esquipulas, who departed along with 60 Marines, 400 Allied Indians and 30 horses. The city was well entrenched that hindered the entry of the Spanish army, and after fighting for 3 days, the inhabitants of Esquipulas finally surrendered the city, most for peace and public tranquility, for fear of the Castilian arms, in the words of the Chief.[13]


the village of Yzquipulas village was founded by the Spaniards between 1560 and 1570, who lived peacefully with the Chorti people of the region. For beginning of the 18th century it was one of the most numerous Spanish communities according to the book of baptisms with a population of 198 people. A century later, the Spanish community reached the 851 inhabitants, representing this to 30% of the total community of Chiquimula who were attracted to the region by the fertility of the valleys.[14]


The maximum event is Miss beauty of Esquipulas Esquipulas. Formerly Señorita(Spanish) Esquipulas, even in 2009.

Esquipulas Miss Contest Winners[edit]

  • Miss Esquipulas 2011 Ana Belen Solis
  • Miss Esquipulas 2010 Karol Lili Leiva
  • Miss Esquipulas 2009 Vasquez Kristel Colindres
  • Miss Esquipulas 2008 Gloria Maria Sandoval
  • Miss Esquipulas 2007 Ivanna Bonilla
  • Miss Esquipulas 2006 Maria Alejandra Aguilar
  • Miss Esquipulas 2004 Hania Hernández

Participation in Departmental beauty contests, national and international[edit]

The esquipultecas have excelled in beauty pageants national and district levels and International.

Winners of the Miss Esquipultecas Chiquimula contest[edit]

The winners of this competition represent the department of Chiquimula in Guatemala Election Miss Universe.

  • Miss Chiquimula 2007 Ivanna Bonilla
  • Miss Chiquimula 2005 Hania Hernández
  • Miss Chiquimula 2010 Karol Lili Leiva
  • Miss Chiquimula Mayan 2010 Miss Gandy Ramos

Winners of the contests esquipultecas Miss Guatemala[edit]

The winners of this competition represent the country in competitions Guatemalan admissions.

  • Miss Guatemala International 2008 Ivanna Bonilla
  • Miss Guatemala International 2002 Hania Hernández
  • Miss Guatemala Mayan 2010 Gandy Ramos
  • Miss Guatemala Picture 2006 Hania Hernández
  • National Queen of the Festival of Independence Hania Hernández

National Queen of the Independence Party is the second most important beauty contest in the country after only Miss Universe Guatemala.

Esquipultecas winners in international competitions[edit]

The winners of this contest will represent the country and won international encertamenes. The only two international competitions won by Esquipulas.

  • Miss Mesoamerica 2010 Gandy Ramos
  • Expoworld Miss Guatemala 2002 Hania Hernández

Important People[edit]

  • MKkarco Tulio Rivas, global soccer, attended the World SUB-20 Colombia of 2011, currently playing for the football team SUB-20 Guatemala.[15]
  • Juan Pablo Espino, Guatemalan writer nationally recognized.[16]
  • Mario Salazar Grande, artist and painter known internationally for his paintings.[17]
  • Milagro Acevedo, educator with a great international experience in the Montessori method.[18]
  • Hania Hernández, beauty queen, has won numerous contests nationally and internationally.[19]
  • And a wide range of young people who annually earn at different stages of the National Science Olympiad conducted by the University of San Carlos de Guatemala[20]


52% (27.664 inh.) Esquipulteca population is made up young from 0 to 25 years, which 64% (17.705) of that 52% (27.664) of young scholars. Education quality is high active Esquipulas, +89.0, the best quality education across the east. The Esquipulas educational calendar is 180 days, the dates may vary, thBold texte most common are from 18 January to 12 October (10 months) and a total of 90 days or 3 months off. 70% (12.393) study in private institutions that are several in Esquipulas, while only 30% (5.311) study in the public institutions of government.

Esquipulas has stood massively in youth participation in National Science Olympiad in Guatemala, which is in charge of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, taking several gold medals, silver and bronze as well as awards for part of the young participants.

Winners esquipultecos in the ONC (USAC)[edit]

Esquipultecos winners in the National Olympiad of Science (ONC) are various and Esquipulas has the largest share and the highest number of awards won. Participants go to various materials and are: mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, chemistry, physics and biology major, degrees from 1 ° to 3 ° basic or secondary and diversified.[20]



Because of its importance as a tourist and religious center, the population of Esquipulas is dedicated mostly to trade and is also strong coffee cultivation, producing mountains of the best varieties of the highest quality of existing coffee. Currently, religious tourism and hospitality industry has boomed, fueled by the large number of pilgrims visiting the sacred image of the Black Christ of Esquipulas.

Also people who are visiting to buy a worm called Esquipulas Tokyo This is a worm multicolored colors: pink, yellow, purple, green and red.

This put it on the buses that go to that place and when looking at a bus coming the Tokyo means of Esquipulas.

Places in Esquipulas[edit]

Tourism in Esquipulas has grown gradually, is a very attractive destination because of the abundant and varied natural beauty, abundant flora and fauna, its colonial history, as well as the whole culture expressed in its customs and cuisine.

There is a strong interest of the international community and religious colonial places like the Basilica of Esquipulas was built in 1740 it was given by Monsignor Pedro Pardo de Figueroa (first Metropolitan Archbishop since 1744) in order to meet the increasingly fastest growing dedicated pilgrimages to the Black Christ of Esquipulas, commissioned the construction of a temple to Philip José de Porres, the son of Diego de Porres and grandson of Joseph de Porres, Antiguan renowned architects where you will find the cotton field where they came from the funds to pay for the sculpture.

Some tourist destinations in Esquipulas
Esquipulas basilica.JPG
Basilica of Esquipulas
Esquipulas City
stone of the Compadres
Esquipulas City
Mine Cave
Esquipulas City
Reserva de la biosfera Trifinio
Park Chatún
Reserva de la Biosfera El Guisayote
Acueducto Los Arcos
Esquipulas City,
Río Atulapa
Ciudad de Esquipulas

Basilica of Esquipulas[edit]

In 1956, Pope Pius XII erected the Prelature nullius of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, established by the municipality of Esquipulas and the Santuario de Esquipulas Cathedral as the venue. Also, the Archbishop of Guatemala, Monsignor Mariano Rossell y Arellano was appointed First Prelate of Esquipulas, who was concerned to seek a religious order to take over care of the sanctuary, finally finding support at the Benedictine Abbey of San José, located in Louisiana, USA. The order sent three monks in 1959 with the mission to Esquipulas founding the Benedictine Monastery of Esquipulas which is responsible for the care of the Basilica today.

In 1961 Archbishop Rossell sent a request to Pope John XXIII, who, based in religious, cultural and historic shrine of Esquipulas raised to the rank of Minor Basilica.

Stone of the Compadres[edit]

In strange balance have stood the test of time and historical earthquakes.

There are small: the upper reaches the size of a regular sedan with four doors. Together they reach a height of about three meters and weighing 50 tons.

The Legend[edit]

That two friends became compadres in Esquipulas (a godfather to the son of another). And despite having made this agreement involving own risk and trust, the sponsor ended the boy's mother and carried away by desire.

While the mother and the man at the place where the rocks, either alone, left to show their desire for each other, and between the whispering wind, swaying trees and being alone ... attempted a sexual act.

Legend has it that by betraying the honor of godfather and mother, being unfaithful to the trust placed in them, punishment became the two stone and standing as a reminder and warning of punishment received by his actions.

Ceremonies and Rituals[edit]

On the other hand, traditional communities believe they are a manifestation of divine powers, or materialization of divine will. So the place is scene sacred rituals, prayers, sacrifices and penances.

They are already smoke blackened the rituals performed where the sacrifice is often the beheaded cock between candles. View of the Stone of the Compadres.

Mine Cave[edit]

The oral tradition dictates that it was in this place where Christ reveals the image of the famous sculptor Quirio Black Catano, creator of the famous statue venerated in Esquipulas.

Are located south of the city right next to the Basilica and one kilometer away from the road leading to Honduras, there are some hills which one was drilled in a cross lying north to south in the more margins of the Rio Chacalapa or Miracles. It is said that many went through all these places in search of a mine that salvation was to finance the work of the Basilica, but finally, up and down and doing tests, the finding savior was found, began drilling and operating silver mine that was a fact, when they needed it s more like a miracle those deluded savior.

These caves were like a memory of that silver mine, which by its geographical location near the Basilica, they found there has been attributed to the miraculous Christ of Esquipulas, which is not true because the documents were later found which consists reliable that the image was burilado by the architect in Antigua Guatemala Quirio Catano, however many indigenous pilgrims from the West, with a mixture of Christian faith and traditions or beliefs, come to visit these caves, performing their own rituals, burn pon and candles, even money left within them.


Today those caves, were within private land, owned by a family of Esquipulas, who have taken advantage of the tourist value that they have and the influx of pilgrims as well as the river that runs through the place, for which they have installed The Ecological Park Cueva de las Minas, which has a zoo with more than 25 species, restaurant, basketball court and football Papi, a ranch and parking, charging an entry fee for tourists.

Park Chatún[edit]

Chatun is an Adventure and Fun Park, where all features are intended to show the diversity of our natural resources and our customs and traditions, based on two pillars: Adventure and Nature.


It also has advantages in agriculture, because that's coffee sertamenes Esquipulas has won several national and international as the best quality coffee and the richest of Guatemala, now there are two winners of these contests farm, Finca Finca Clouds and the Cascajal, according to the National Coffee Association ANACAFE(Spanish) coffee from Esquipulas to win the contest The Best Coffee in Guatemala and the World[21]

Political Division villages and hamlets[edit]

The municipality of Esquipulas, Chiquimula is composed of 21 villages and 118 hamlets in its 532 km2, the city of Esquipulas also has 5 villages.

  • Distance to the city in Kilometers.
  • El Ciracil
  • Tizaquín
  • El Sillón
  • Vuelta Grande
  • Sand Joaquín

Village Atulapa[edit]

  • Montecinas
  • Aqua Caliente
  • Amatal
  • El Barrial
  • La Casona
  • Mesa Grande,
  • Zompopero
  • Bojorquez
  • Agua Zarca
  • Horno de Vides
  • El Cerrón
  • Canoas
  • La Brea

Village Santa Rosalia[edit]

  • El Limón
  • El Jocotal
  • La Cuestona
  • El Portezuelo
  • El Duraznal
  • Plan de La Arada
  • Las Toreras

Village San Nicolas[edit]

  • El Cascajal
  • Chaguitón
  • Guayabito
  • Miramundo
  • El Barrial
  • Tecomapa

Village la Granadilla[edit]

  • El Chuctal
  • Floripundio
  • El Olvido
  • El Porvenir

Village Olopita[edit]

  • San Juan
  • El Bueyero
  • Olopita Centro
  • Tontoles
  • Las Crucitas
  • Cuevitas
  • San Cristobal
  • Piedra Redonda

Village Valle Dolores[edit]

  • El Chorro
  • San Juan Arriba
  • El Chaguite
  • Los Vados
  • Tierra Colorada

Village Belén (El Tablón)[edit]

  • Agua Zarca
  • Chiramay
  • La Ruda
  • El Zapote

Village Cruz Alta[edit]

  • Curruche
  • Las palmas

Village Jagua (Las Cañas)[edit]

  • El Peñasco (Llano de la Muerte )
  • Lagunas
  • Llano de Guerra
  • Ojo de Agua
  • Palmitas
  • Tareas
  • El Encino
  • La Cumbre
  • El Pinalito
  • El Jicaro
  • El Salitre
  • Las Sopas
  • Rincón de María
  • San Francisco Buena Vista,
  • El Empedrado.

Village Las Peñas[edit]

  • Joyas Verdes
  • La Fortuna
  • El Pesote
  • Miramundo
  • El Incienso
  • El Palmar
  • Queseras

Village El Sarzal[edit]

  • Potrerillos
  • El Guineal
  • Zapotal
  • Zapotalito
  • Malcotal

Village Valle de Jesús[edit]

  • Valle de Jesús

Village San Isidro[edit]

  • Malcotalito
  • El Chuctal
  • Entre Ríos
  • Capucal

Village Chanmagua[edit]

  • Las Pozas
  • Los Varales
  • El Pedregal
  • Laguna Seca

Village Cafetales[edit]

  • Loma Alta
  • La Rinconada
  • La Aradona
  • Llano Largo

Village el Carrizal[edit]

  • Llano de los Toros
  • Pericos
  • Bailadero
  • Tabloncito
  • Joyitas

Village Horcones[edit]

  • Calzontes
  • Piedra de Amolar
  • Tablón de Gamez
  • Tishac
  • El Zarzalito

Village Timushan[edit]

  • El Mojón
  • El Bajío
  • San Antonio Sulay
  • Malcinca
  • San Miguel Mapa
  • Suyate
  • Pasaljá
  • Tablón de Sulay
  • Loma del Mango
  • Los Fierros
  • Llano de San Gaspar
  • Cañada del Pino

Village Monteros[edit]

  • Caserío El Horno
  • El Rincón de León

Village Carboneras[edit]

  • El Rincón

The Cathedral[edit]

The cathedral at Esquipulas was proclaimed a Basilica in 1961 by Pope John XXIII, and in 1995, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the shrine, Pope John Paul II proclaimed it "the spiritual center of Central America." Every year, thousands of pilgrims from Guatemala, the United States, Mexico, Europe and other Central American countries flock to pay homage to the dark wooden image of the crucified Christ, the most revered Catholic shrine in the region.[22]

El Santuario de Chimayo, a major Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in Chimayó, New Mexico, USA, is closely linked with Esquipulas.

Tierra Santa[edit]

Esquipulas is famous for its Tierra Santa (Holy Earth) clay tablets that are purchased by the pilgrims during Church festivals. The clay from the local deposits is cleaned and pressed into small cakes.[23] Such clay is also known as tierra bendita, or Tierra del Santo. The popularity of this clay is attested by the many names (for example, akipula, cipula, askipula, kipula) that are used for such medicinal clay tablets all around Central America. Pilgrims sometimes eat the supposedly curative clay, or they rub themselves with it.

Similar customs prevail at the sister shrine El Santuario de Chimayo in the US.

In 1987 the Trifinio biosphere reserve was created to protect the unique flora and fauna in the region.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Origen del nombre Esquipulas (Origin of the name Esquipulas)". Revista Vida Diplomática. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Nicolás Rodríguez. "Historia de Esquipulas (History of Esquipulas)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Norma Guisela Acosta Zavala. "Centro Cultural de Esquipulas (Esquipulas Cultural Center)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  4. ^ UNESCO. "Route of the Peace and National Identity - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Cidnewsmedia. "Ciudad de Esquipulas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  6. ^ ViajeporGuatemala. "Cristo Negro de Esquipulas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Nicolás Rodríguez. "Historia de la Ciudad de Esquipulas (History of Esquipulas City)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Turismo en Esquipulas
  9. ^ CidnesMedia. "Esquipulas la Capital Centroamericana de la fe" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Nicolás Rodríguez. "Semana Santa en Esquipulas (Holy week in Esquipulas)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Wikipedia. "Acuerdo de Paz de Esquipulas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Origen de la Ciudad de Chiquimula" (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Nicolás Rodríguez. "Historia de Esquipulas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  14. ^ José Romilio Villeda Maderos. "Historia - Esquipulas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ educator with a great international experience in the Montessori method.
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^ See Linda Kay Davidson and David Gitlitz ‘’Pilgrimage, from the Ganges to Graceland: an Encyclopedia’’ (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2002), 173-75.
  23. ^ Redman, K. . (1980). "Tierra del Santo, Blessed Clay Tablets of Middle America and New Mexico". Pharmaceutical Biology 18 (4): 153–157. doi:10.3109/13880208009065197.  edit

External links[edit]