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For many Maya inhabitants of Santiago Atitlan, the community church represents a microcosm of the universe. In the center of the church's nave is a small hole called the R'muxux Ruchiliew (meaning "navel of the earth") which traditionalist Tz'utujils conceive as a portal leading to the underworld realm of their sacred ancestors (Carlsen and Prechtel 1991:27; Carlsen 1997:152).

The R'muxux Ruchiliew ("Navel of the World") hole
covered by cloths in the nave of the church.