Taken as a whole, the Verapaces are very much indigenous country: Baja Verapaz retains a small Achi Maya outpost around Rabinal, and in Alta Verapaz the Maya population are Poqomchi’ and Q’eqchi’. The production of coffee, and more recently cardamom for the Middle Eastern market, has cut deep into their land and their way of life, the fincas driving many people off prime territory to marginal plots. Traditional costume is worn less here than in the western highlands, and in its place many indigenous women have adopted a more universal Q’eqchi’ costume, wearing the loose-hanging white huipil and machine-made corte. Maya men do not wear traje in the Verapaces.

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