Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, is a town, with a population of 71,394, and the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name in the El Quiché department of Guatemala. It is located in a mountainous region about 140 km northwest of Guatemala City, at an altitude of 1,965 m. The Spanish conquistadors gave the town its name from the Nahuatl name used by their soldiers from Tlaxcala: Tzitzicaztenanco, or City of Nettles. Its original name was Chaviar.
Chichicastenango is a K'iche' Maya cultural centre. According to the 2012 census, 98.5% of the municipality's population is indigenous Mayan K'iche. Of the population, 21% speak only K'iche, 71% speak both K'iche and Spanish, and the remaining 8% speak only Spanish.
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