Last Updated on March 12, 2021
Maximón is one of Guatemala’s most popular Mayan folk saints, worshiped in the Western Highlands. Some believe Maximón, also known as San Simón, to be an incarnation of the Mayan god of sexuality, while others think he was a Spanish priest. An effigy of Maximón in the town of Santiago Atitán is celebrated year round. The well dressed wooden figure wears a silk scarf and a hat and often has a lit cigar in his mouth, as keeping Maximón in a good mood is key. He is guarded by two men who occasionally feed him rum or other alcoholic spirits, and worshippers offer up money, booze or cigarrettes in exchange for good health, good crops or marriage counselling. The effigy is moved from house to house throughout the town, and the homeowner’s number one responsibility is to care for Maximón while he stays with them.