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San Andrés Larrainzar

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San Andrés Larráinzar is a municipal in the state of Chiapas, Mexico that is in the region known as Los Altos (the Highlands). Its people belong to an ethnic group that is culturally and linguistically Tzotzil, while forming a part of Mayan culture. Despite its dominant indigenous population (98% approximately), there is a small group of mestizos that live in the center.

The name “San Andres” refers to its patron saint who is celebrated every 30 November. The name “Larráinzar” was given in honor of Ramón Larráinzar who was the governor of the State of Chiapas from 1850 to 1855. Its municipal is known as Sakamch'en of the Poor. Sakamch'en is actually the old name of this municipal.

This municipal lies adjacent to Chamula to its south, El Bosque to its north, Bochil to its northeast, Ch'enalhó to its east and Aldama to its west.

This municipal played a special part during 1994 Zapatista uprising. It was here that the San Andres Accords was signed. It is an agreement established between the Mexican government and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Zapatistas) to end the war. Later, however, the Federal Government refused to recognize the agreements even though they were signed, whereas the movement considers them valid.

Traditional costumes
The traditional costume for men consist of a shirt and white pants made of wool. The sleeves are sewn to the torso and are red in color, while the pants (or vex in Tzotzil) go just below the knee. The costume is formally worn with sandals called huaraches or caites (from the Náhuatl word cactli), whereas in the past they used to walk barefoot.

Those who hold special responsibility in the community wear, additionally, a black wool poncho, a woven mecate sling bag o nuti’, a white hankerchief or pok’, and an eye-catching hat or pixol around which colorful tassels hang from its brim.

The traditional costume for women consists of a white blouse made of woven wool with reddish and purple embroidery, and a dark blue skirt fitted around the waist with a red band.

Historical monuments
The Temple of San Andrés Apóstol: this building dates back to the 17th century and was under the administration of the secular parish of Chamula. The architecture plan consists of a long nave and a triumphal arch that separates from the presbytery. The façade features an access through a pointed arc, with two half Corinthian rods, a frieze with lilies, two turrets with pointed arcs and topped with a belfry with three pointed arches. The side windows have the same type of arches with archivolts in the style of the 16th century added. The inside is covered with a stave-coffered ceiling, its floor made of red and grey cement with red-paste tiles. The main altar is covered with white tiles on which are three glass cases. The middle case holds the patron saint.