San Cristobal de Las Casas was founded in 1528 by the Spanish conquistador Diego de Mazariegos with the name of Chiapa Real de los Españoles. The city adopted its current name in honour to its Patron San Cristobal and to the Spanish friar Bartolome de Las Casas who defended the native indigenous people from the conquistadores.
San Cristobal was the capital of the province of Chiapas until 1821, when it belonged to Guatemala, and it was the capital of the state of Chiapas in the Independant Mexican Republic until 1892.
The city is located in the highlands of Chiapas, where the indigenous communities descendents of the ancient Mayas, the Tzotzil and Tzeltal, survive preserving their traditions and culture.
On January 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, and on the same day the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN) emerged from the mountains to occupy San Cristobal and other towns in Chiapas, to fight for the rights of the indigenous people.
Since then the Mexican goverment has tried to wipe out all the native people in Chiapas, but failed due to most of the territory being in high mountains and a fierce defence by the EZLN. In more recent years, the Mexican people joined forces with the EZLN and the natives in marches and demonstrations in the city.
The Mexican goverment finally agreed to talk and try to resolve the situation peacefully. However the agreements made have not been respected by the goverment and the situation has remained the same.
There’s something about this place. I’m not sure what it is yet, but we like it here.
We’re staying for Christmas.