Santa Cruz del Quiché

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Santa Cruz del Quiché
Santa Cruz del Quiché, 2007
Santa Cruz del Quiché, 2007
Santa Cruz del Quiché is located in Guatemala
Santa Cruz del Quiché
Santa Cruz del Quiché
Location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 15°1′48″N 91°9′0″W / 15.03000°N 91.15000°W / 15.03000; -91.15000Coordinates: 15°1′48″N 91°9′0″W / 15.03000°N 91.15000°W / 15.03000; -91.15000
Country Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
Department El Quiché
Municipality Santa Cruz del Quiché
 • Type Municipal
 • Municipality 311 km2 (120 sq mi)
Elevation 2,021 m (6,631 ft)
Highest elevation 2,500 m (8,200 ft)
Lowest elevation 1,500 m (4,900 ft)
Population (Census 2002)[1]
 • Municipality 62,369
 • Urban 20,870
 • Ethnicities K'iche', Ladino
 • Religions Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Maya

Santa Cruz del Quiché is a city in Guatemala. It serves as the capital of El Quiché department and the municipal seat of Santa Cruz del Quiché municipality.

The city is located at 15°02′N 91°09′W / 15.03°N 91.15°W / 15.03; -91.15, at an elevation of 2,021 m (6,631 feet) above sea level. The urban population was about 21,000 people in 2003.


Santa Cruz del Quiché was founded by Pedro de Alvarado, a companion and second in-command of conquistador Hernán Cortés, after he burned down the nearby Maya capital city of Q'umarkaj (or Utatlán, in the Nahuatl language). The oldest buildings, including a large cathedral and clock tower in the central plaza, were constructed out of the stones of the Q'umarkaj ruins by the Dominicans. Some think it likely that it was in Santa Cruz where a group of anonymous K'iche' nobles of the Nim Ch'okoj class transcribed the Popol Vuh, the sacred text of the Maya.

In Santa Cruz, the former rulers of Q'umarkaj were reduced to the status of peasant. As the living conditions were so pitiful in the city, the town of Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, about 20 miles to the south of Santa Cruz, began to swell with the immigration of displaced Mayas and soon passed up Santa Cruz in both size and importance.

Santa Cruz del Quiché has an airport.


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