topónimo : Santa Cruz
Christenson (2007: note 892, page 287) helpfully glosses the history of the place name and its role in the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica. He writes: "Bishop Francisco Marroquín blessed the ruins of Cumarcah in 1539, renaming it Santa Cruz (Spanish: 'Holy Cross'). In about 1555, the Spaniards founded a new administrative center three miles to the east, which they also named Santa Cruz del Quiché (Spanish: Holy Cross of the Quiché). This was likely carried out under the direction of Alonso de Zorita who administered affairs in various Guatemalan provinces beginning in March 1555, including the area of Utatlan. Akkeren suggests that this compilation of the Popol Vuh was carried out in conjunction with the abandonment of the old capital (Akkeren 2003). The resettlement process, which the Spaniards called congregación (congregation), followed a uniform pattern throughout Guatemala (García Peláez 1943, 161-166; Betancor and Arboleda 1964). First, a church was erected at the center of the proposed site fronted by an open plaza, or atrio, for large assemblies to gather for public ceremonies and indoctrination. The rest of the town was organized into squares divided by streets laid out to the cardinal directions. While the new settlement was under construction, families planted their maize on plots the Spaniards assigned to them in the nearby countryside. When the crops were ready to harvest, the older Precolumbian structures were destroyed to prevent reoccupation, and the people moved into their new homes. Christian missionaries staged elaborate dances and festivals to celebrate the event 'so that they would forget their ancient dwellings' (García Peláez 1943, 163)."