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San Juan Cotzal

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San Juan Cotzal (Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ ˈxwaŋ kotˈsal]) is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of El Quiché. San Juan Cotzal is part of the Ixil Community, along with Santa Maria Nebaj and San Gaspar Chajul.

San Juan Cotzal

Cotzal
Municipality
San Juan Cotzal is located in Guatemala
San Juan Cotzal
San Juan Cotzal
Location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 15°26′7″N 91°2′8″W / 15.43528°N 91.03556°W / 15.43528; -91.03556Coordinates: 15°26′7″N 91°2′8″W / 15.43528°N 91.03556°W / 15.43528; -91.03556
CountryFlag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
Department..El Quiché Flag(GUATEMALA).png El Quiché
MunicipalitySan Juan Cotzal
Government
 • TypeMunicipal
 • MayorBaltazar Cruz Torres (PP)
Elevation
5,600 ft (1,700 m)
Population
 (Census 2002)
 • Municipality20,050
 • Urban
9,037
 • Ethnicities
Ixil, K'iche', Ladino
 • Religions
Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Maya
ClimateCfb
Websitehttp://www.inforpressca.com/cotzal/

HistoryEdit

Pre-Hispanic eraEdit

Worried about the defection of the aj K’ub’ul family chief, who had taken his family away in order to look for fertile and, above all, Pacific land, the K’iche’ king sent a group of soldiers to control every single movement of them. He was afraid that the aj K'ub'ul would look for reinforcements from other ethnic groups in the area to form a strong army and then attack the K'iche's. The warriors settled to the east of the aj K’ub’ul and since the latter had moved away to look for peace and tranquility, they were a peaceful community. That is what the warriors inform the K’iche’ king, reassuring him by telling that he should not worry about the exiled group, as they were peaceful.[1]

As time went by, the K'iche' warriors realized that the aj K'ub'ul life was very different from the one they were used to have under the ruling of their king, as they simple worked on their land and crops and then enjoyed their families without having to worry about being invaded or called to fight in a war. Therefore, they went back to their place of origin, Tujalj (Sacapulas and Canillá), but only to pick up their families and went on to settle a new community where they were once stationed to keep an eye on the aj K'ub'ul.[a]

Campaigns in the CuchumatanesEdit

 
The difficult terrain and remoteness of the Cuchumatanes made their conquest difficult.

In the ten years after the fall of Zaculeu various Spanish expeditions crossed into the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes and engaged in the gradual and complex conquest of the Chuj and Q'anjob'al.[2] The Spanish were attracted to the region in the hope of extracting gold, silver and other riches from the mountains but their remoteness, the difficult terrain and relatively low population made their conquest and exploitation extremely difficult.[3] The population of the Cuchumatanes is estimated to have been 260,000 before European contact. By the time the Spanish physically arrived in the region this had collapsed to 150,000 due to Old World diseases that had run ahead of them.[4]

Uspantán and the IxilEdit

After the western portion of the Cuchumatanes fell to the Spanish, the Ixil and Uspantek Maya were sufficiently isolated to evade immediate Spanish attention. The Uspantek and the Ixil were allies and in 1529, four years after the conquest of Huehuetenango, Uspantek warriors were harassing Spanish forces and Uspantán was trying to foment rebellion among the K'iche'. Uspantek activity became sufficiently troublesome that the Spanish decided that military action was necessary. Gaspar Arias, magistrate of Guatemala, penetrated the eastern Cuchumatanes with sixty Spanish infantry and three hundred allied indigenous warriors.[5] By early September he had imposed temporary Spanish authority over the Ixil towns of Chajul and Nebaj.[6] The Spanish army then marched east toward Uspantán itself; Arias then received notice that the acting governor of Guatemala, Francisco de Orduña, had deposed him as magistrate. Arias handed command over to the inexperienced Pedro de Olmos and returned to confront de Orduña. Although his officers advised against it, Olmos launched a disastrous full-scale frontal assault on the city. As soon as the Spanish began their assault they were ambushed from the rear by more than two thousand Uspantek warriors. The Spanish forces were routed with heavy losses; many of their indigenous allies were slain, and many more were captured alive by the Uspantek warriors only to be sacrificed on the altar of their deity Exbalamquen. The survivors who managed to evade capture fought their way back to the Spanish garrison at Q'umarkaj.[7]

A year later Francisco de Castellanos set out from Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala (by now relocated to Ciudad Vieja) on another expedition against the Ixil and Uspantek, leading eight corporals, thirty-two cavalry, forty Spanish infantry and several hundred allied indigenous warriors. The expedition rested at Chichicastenango and recruited further forces before marching seven leagues northwards to Sacapulas and climbed the steep southern slopes of the Cuchumatanes. On the upper slopes they clashed with a force of between four and five thousand Ixil warriors from Nebaj and nearby settlements. A lengthy battle followed during which the Spanish cavalry managed to outflank the Ixil army and forced them to retreat to their mountaintop fortress at Nebaj. The Spanish force besieged the city, and their indigenous allies managed to scale the walls, penetrate the stronghold and set it on fire. Many defending Ixil warriors withdrew to fight the fire, which allowed the Spanish to storm the entrance and break the defences.[7] The victorious Spanish rounded up the surviving defenders and the next day Castellanos ordered them all to be branded as slaves as punishment for their resistance.[8] The inhabitants of Chajul immediately capitulated to the Spanish as soon as news of the battle reached them. The Spanish continued east towards Uspantán to find it defended by ten thousand warriors, including forces from Cotzal, Cunén, Sacapulas and Verapaz. The Spaniards were barely able to organise a defence before the defending army attacked. Although heavily outnumbered, the deployment of Spanish cavalry and the firearms of the Spanish infantry eventually decided the battle. The Spanish overran Uspantán and again branded all surviving warriors as slaves. The surrounding towns also surrendered, and December 1530 marked the end of the military stage of the conquest of the Cuchumatanes.[9]


PopulationEdit

According to official census done by the Guatemalan National Statistics Institute (INE), the municipality had a total population of 14137 in 1994; in 2002 this grew by 42% and in 2008 a study determined that there was an additional 29% increase. The following tables show the difference population classification in San Juan Cotzal:[10]

By gender[10]
Gender Total 1994 Census % 1994 Census Total 2002 Census % 2002 Census Total estimated in 2008 % estimated in 2008
Male 6631 47 9,611 48 12713 49
Female 7506 53 10,439 52 13232 51
TOTAL 14137 100 20050 100 25945 100
By age[11]
Age range Total 1994 Census % 1994 Census Total 2002 Census % 2002 Census Total estimated in 2008 % estimated in 2008
From 0 to 6 3436 24 5168 26 7005 27
From 7 to 14 3201 23 4493 22 5967 23
From 15 to 64 7080 50 9686 48 12194 47
More than 65 420 3 703 4 779 3
TOTAL 14137 100 20050 100 25945 100
By ethnic group[12]
Ethnic group Total 1994 Census % 1994 Census Total 2002 Census % 2002 Census Total estimated in 2008 % estimated in 2008
Native 13236 94 19520 97 25167 97
Non-native 901 6 530 3 778 3
TOTAL 14137 100 20050 100 25945 100
By location[13]
Area Total 1994 Census % 1994 Census Total 2002 Census % 2002 Census Total estimated in 2008 % estimated in 2008
Urban 5,069 36 9037 45 13232 51
Rural 9,068 64 11013 55 12713 49
TOTAL 14137 100 20050 100 25945 100

DwellingEdit

86% of the population owns their home, while the rest live in borrowed (12%) or rented houses(2%).[14] Most of the urban structures are made of zinc sheets roofing and brick walls.[15] On the other hand, rural area homes are built out of wood and "teja", and lack any kind of flooring.[15]

Occupation and salariesEdit

Agriculture is by far the main productive activity of the area,[15] and those who work their own land are the ones that fare better income-wise.[15]

Occupation (2008)[15]
Activity Urban area Rural area Total %
Agriculture 93 371 464 61
Management 80 48 128 17
Artinsan work 42 45 87 11
Commerce 33 24 57 8
Livestock 2 11 13 2
Industry 5 5 10 1
TOTAL 255 504 759 100
Income sources(2008)
Income source Urban area Rural area Total % Total
Work own land 79 193 272 52
Labor force 69 115 184 36
Own business 26 21 47 9
Family remittances 8 1 9 2
Retirement 5 2 7 1
TOTAL 187 332 519 100
Income levels (2008)[16]
In Quetzales Homes %
0 to 400 173 33
401 to 800 174 33
801 to 1200 85 16
1201 to 1600 38 7
1601 to 2000 26 4
2001 to 2400 9 2
2401 to 2800 9 2
2801 to 3200 10 2
3201 to 3600 0 0
3601 or more 3 1
TOTAL 527 100

82% of the population had an income of Q1,200.00/month, which was less than minimal wage at the time.[16] Area development halted during the Guatemalan Civil War, although economic conditions were not all that prosperous even before it.[16]

EducationEdit

San Juan Cotzal has numerous educational institutions: twenty two of them are public schools run by the Government.[17]

Enrolled students by education level[18]
Level 1994 2008
Public Private Cooperative Total Public Private Cooperative Total
Preschool 377 - 108 485 478 - 136 614
Elementary 1756 - 37 1793 3118 63 51 3232
Middle level
Junior High School - - 84 84 - - 558 5582
High School - - - - - - 77 77
TOTAL 2133 - 229 2362 3596 63 822 4481
Teachers by education level[18]
Level 1994 2008
Public Private Cooperative Total Public Private Cooperative Total
Preschool 12 - 3 15 22 - N.A 22
Elementary 30 - 2 32 96 - N/A 96
Middle level
Junior High School 8 - 6 14 23 - 9 32
High School - - - - - - 10 10
TOTAL 50 - 11 61 141 - 19 160
Coverage by education level[19]
Education level Student population in 1994 Student population in 2008
Enrolled students Coverage % Enrolled students Coverage %
Preschool 2436 485 20 6237 614 10
Elementary 3201 1793 57 4490 3232 72
Middle level
Junior High School 2080 84 4 3908 558 14
High School - - - 5664 77 1
TOTAL 7717 2362 20299 4481
Education level[17]
Level 1994 2008
Public Private Cooperative Total % Public Private Cooperative Total %
Preschool 36 - 22 58 67 18 - 8 26 9
Elementary 9 - 2 11 13 135 5 52 192 68
Middle level
Junior High School 12 - 5 17 20 53 - 5 58 21
High School - - - - - - - 5 5 2
TOTAL 57 - 29 86 100 206 5 70 281 100

EconomyEdit

The production activity details are shown in the following tables:

Agriculture[20]
Product Production
en quintals
Total value
in Quetzales
Corn 6691 802920
Beans 679 203700
Coffee 51780 10,356,000
TOTAL 59150 11,362,620
Private services[21]
Business type Establishments Total value
in Quetzales
Bus 20 2,520,000
Nixtamal mill 70 1,260,000
Cable TV 3 540000
Barber shops 12 201600
Photo shops 4 156000
Photocopy centers 5 150000
Entertainment establishments 2 144000
Hotels 3 144000
Workshops 3 99000
Computation academy 2 84000
Dentistry 1 60000
Radio stations 1 42000
Music ensembles 1 36000
Shoemaker shops 5 30000
Typewriting 3 28800
Language schools 1 24000
Pulpero leasing 8 2880
TOTAL 144 5,522,280
Commercial activity[22]
Business Establishments Total value
in Quetzales
Family grocery stores 260 3,540,000
Butcher shops 22 1,200,000
Gas stations 51 612000
Hardware stores 4 576000
Food establishments 7 315000
Smithy 3 288000
Carpentry 6 240000
Bakery 6 216000
Dollar stores 12 172800
Weave stores 2 168000
Drug stores 7 142800
Liquor stores 3 131400
Cell phone parts 6 129600
Bookstores 7 100800
Shoe stores 4 96000
Propane shop 2 43200
Clothing 1 42000
Ice cream shops 1 36000
Agriculture supplies 1 24000
Newspaper stands 1 2400
TOTAL 406 8,076,000
Animal husbandry[23]
Product Cattle heads Total value
in Quetzales
Bovine 124 496000
Poultry 1,490 89400
Porcine 69 31050
Ovine 37 29600
Caprino 23 18400
TOTAL 1743 664450
Artisan activities[24]
Activity Units Total value
in Quetzales
Fabrics 6840 674400
Maguey products 9000 125280
Carpentry 252 91980
Smithy 90 41318
Tailoring 225 13500
Bakery 25000 7500
Candle making 6000 6000
TOTAL 47407 959,978
Source: Grupo EPS, 2010[25]

ClimateEdit

San Juan Cotzal has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb).

Climate data for San Juan Cotzal
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21.4
(70.5)
22.4
(72.3)
24.2
(75.6)
24.7
(76.5)
24.3
(75.7)
23.3
(73.9)
22.7
(72.9)
23.1
(73.6)
23.0
(73.4)
22.0
(71.6)
22.1
(71.8)
21.8
(71.2)
22.9
(73.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.5
(59.9)
16.0
(60.8)
17.5
(63.5)
18.2
(64.8)
18.3
(64.9)
18.3
(64.9)
17.6
(63.7)
17.6
(63.7)
17.6
(63.7)
17.0
(62.6)
16.5
(61.7)
16.0
(60.8)
17.2
(62.9)
Average low °C (°F) 9.6
(49.3)
9.6
(49.3)
10.8
(51.4)
11.7
(53.1)
12.4
(54.3)
13.3
(55.9)
12.5
(54.5)
12.1
(53.8)
12.3
(54.1)
12.0
(53.6)
10.9
(51.6)
10.2
(50.4)
11.5
(52.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44
(1.7)
29
(1.1)
40
(1.6)
53
(2.1)
118
(4.6)
284
(11.2)
231
(9.1)
199
(7.8)
227
(8.9)
197
(7.8)
104
(4.1)
46
(1.8)
1,572
(61.8)
Source: Climate-Data.org[26]

Geographic locationEdit

San Juan Cotzal is 269 km from Guatemala City and 104 km from Santa Cruz del Quiché through the Quiché 6 West highway.[27]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ This was confirmed by Antonio Rodríguez, from Sacapulas, who witnessed the contact his family had with Rabinal, San Miguel Chicaj and Salamá in the 1950s. They knew that their families were related and always brought Sacapulas produce into those municipalities.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Tz’unun, Francisco Luis; Chom, Miguel Antret; Terga, Ricardo (n.d.). Transcripción de la tradición oral de Cubulco (in Spanish). Guatemala.
  2. ^ Limón Aguirre 2008, p. 10.
  3. ^ Limón Aguirre 2008, p. 11.
  4. ^ Lovel 2005, p. 71
  5. ^ Lovell 2005, p. 64
  6. ^ Lovell 2005, pp. 64–65.
  7. ^ a b Lovell 2005, p. 65
  8. ^ Lovell 2005, pp. 65–66.
  9. ^ Lovell 2005, p. 66
  10. ^ a b Bran Prado, Byron Rafael et al. 2010, p. 13
  11. ^ Bran Prado, Byron Rafael et al. 2010, p. 14.
  12. ^ Bran Prado, Byron Rafael et al. 2010, p. 15.
  13. ^ Bran Prado, Byron Rafael et al. 2010, p. 16.
  14. ^ Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 16.
  15. ^ a b c d e Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 17
  16. ^ a b c Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 19
  17. ^ a b Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 24
  18. ^ a b Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 22
  19. ^ Marroquín Lopez, Marvin Ottoniel et al. 2010, p. 23.
  20. ^ Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo et al. 2010, p. 18
  21. ^ Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo et al. 2010, p. 24.
  22. ^ Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo et al. 2010, p. 25.
  23. ^ Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo et al. 2010, p. 22.
  24. ^ Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo et al. 2010, p. 23.
  25. ^ Zarceño Guzmán, Sandra Judith; Rodas Ramírez, Berta Julissa; Bran Prado, Byron Rafael; Cuyuch Martínez, Marta Rossibell; López Matheu, Jorge Javier; Mazariegos Cuyuch, Melvin Orlando; Yupe Ramírez, José Guillermo; García Valenzuela, Francisca; Rojas Escalante, Pabla Bartola; Flores Moreno, Nery Osvaldo; Cabrera Ruano, Miriam Alicia; Marroquín López, Marvin Ottoniel; Rodríguez Lemus, Gerson Giovanni Steve (2010). Diagnóstico socioecnómico: potentialidades productivas y propuestas de inversión. Municipio de San Juan Cotzal, departamento de El Quiché. Informe general (PDF). Investigación de Campo, Grupo EPS (in Spanish). Guatemala: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.
  26. ^ "Climate: San Juan Cotzal". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  27. ^ a b c SEGEPLAN. "Municipios de Quiché, Guatemala". Secretaría General de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia de la República (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Cotzal at Wikimedia Commons