Poqomam - Settlements



The Poqomam generally live in small settlements that surround large urban centers. For example, the municipio of Chinautla is a central urban area surrounded by many rural aldeas (hamlets). Officially, the urban centers have the authority to govern the hamlets that surround them. In practice, however, most inhabitants of the hamlets like to retain a certain degree of local autonomy.

Within the hamlets, people often live in extended family compounds so they can be close to their immediate kin. Whereas the ideal household form is the nuclear family, it can be said that the traditional ideal of the extended family is preserved through the practice of clustering immediate family households into a single household compound. The process of clustering often occurs across generations, and familial lands remain in the hands of the eldest male of the compound.

Houses are constructed either in the traditional way or in the Ladino way. In the case of traditional structures, the walls are made of cane or adobe, and the roofs are thatched with long grasses. The walls of Ladino houses are generally built of brick, and the roofs are made of either tile or galvanized tin.


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