Chiapas Highlands

The pine and oak highlands of central Chiapas rise 8,000 feet above the Grijalva River to the northwest and extend for nearly 220 kilometers southeast into neighboring Guatemala. For at least a thousand years the Tzotzil and Tzeltal-speaking Maya have lived in the valleys of this plateau, near the many limestone springs that are fed by underground rivers. The economy of the highlands is based on the growing of corn, beans, and squash, utilizing the age-old methods of slash-and-burn agriculture. Most communities also specialize in a particular craft or cash crop which they sell at the market in the colonial city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (pop.90,000).
(top right) Limestone spring in the Chiapas Highlands.
(bottom left) Maya home in the Chiapas Highlands.
(bottom right) Milpa hillside in the Chiapas Highlands.

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