Ceiba tree: Portal to the Underworld

Ceiba: Portals to the Underworld

The Ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra) is very important in Guatemala. For one, the Ceiba tree is Guatemala’s national tree. There are Ceiba trees all over Guatemala. The Maya believed that Ceiba trees were portals to Xibalbá (The Underworld). Xibalba is described in the Popol Vuh as a court below the surface of the Earth associated with death and with twelve gods or powerful rulers known as the Lords of Xibalba (source: Wikipedia).

According to a recent article in Revue Magazine, Ceibas have been sacred trees for over 2,000 years and the Ceiba tree spines show up often in Mayan art and pottery. The Ceiba tree also appears in the 5 centavos coins.

Do you know how many Ceiba tree are there in La Antigua Guatemala municipality?

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  • Eric

    No idea how many Ceibas there are in La Antigua, but…did you say that the Ceiba is on the 5 centavo coin ? I found a 5-centavo during my last visit; it’s very small. I don’t even think I noticed the Ceiba tree.
    ….Maybe a ‘fantasma’ dropped it ? (hint, hint) 😀

    • @Eric, I’m not sure either. At first I thought this was the only one in the municipio. Then someone mention there was another in my pueblo and later someone else mention another in Santa Catarina. So we’ll see after I photograph them all. 😉