Woman and girls in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Woman and girls in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.
Santiago Atitlán is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. The town is situated on Lago de Atitlán, which has an elevation of 5,105 feet (1,556 m). The town sits on a bay of Lago Atitlan between two volcanos. Volcan San Pedro rises to 2,846 metres (9,337 ft) west of town; Volcan Toliman rises to 3,144 metres (10,315 ft) southeast of town. Volcan Atitlan, with a summit of 3,516 metres (11,535 ft), is south-southeast of town. Santiago Atitlan is southwest of Panajachel across the lake. Major highways reach Lago Atitlan at San Lucas Toliman and Panajachel.
The majority of the residents are indigenous Mayans. It was the capital of the Tz’utujil people in pre-Columbian times and its name was Chuitinamit.
Santiago Atitlán was the site of considerable state-sponsored violence during the country’s civil war. Some of the most notable incidents that occurred during the war include the assassination of Roman Catholic Priest Stanley Rother by right-wing death squads on 28 July, 1981, and the massacre of 14 people (and wounding of 21 others) when the Guatemalan Army opened fire on a crowd of unarmed civilians on 2 December 1990.

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