Built during the 1540s upon the ancient foundation of a Maya temple site, this Roman Catholic church in Chichicastenango, Guatemala remains a venerated holy site for people of both Catholic and Maya faiths and blends of the two. The stone stairs leading to the gleaming white Dominican church are reminiscent of those at ancient temple sites, and the steps have turned black from prayer sessions in which shamans waft copal incense and set purification fires. Inside, the church is adorned with offerings, everything from maize to liquor, and numerous candles, which have colors and patterns that correspond with those they've been lit for.
Santo Tomas Church sits on the main marketplace of Chichicastenango, a town that has retained much of its indigenous culture from the pre-Colombian era. The marketplace is a must-see hive of food, icons and multi-colored handcrafts.