Según apunta Sam Colop (nota 390, página 259): "Tonatiuh conforme al diccionario de Karttunen (1992) quiere decir 'el Sol' y nos refiere a tóna que quiere decir 'hacer calor o Sol'. Probablemente, el sobrenombre de Pedro de Alvarado no se refiera al color de su cabello, como tradicionalmente se ha dicho, sino a su práctica de 'quemar' a sus víctimas".
Christenson (2007: note 857, page 278) also notes the conflation of "T" and "D" sounds in the name that Ximénez writes as "Tonatiuh", or "Don Alvarado" in modern Spanish orthography. He writes: "Donadiu (or Tonatiu) was the name given to Don Pedro de Alvarado, the Spanish captain of Hernán Cortés who conquered the highland Maya region of what is today Guatemala. This is the Quiché Maya version of Tonatiuh (Nahua for 'sun, heat'), the name by which Alvarado was known to the Aztecs and his Tlaxcalan mercenaries. He likely received this nickname because of his blonde hair, a physical trait unknown in the Precolumbian New World (other than albinos, which are still called 'children of the sun' in many Quiché communities). The name may have had further significance for the Quichés, however. Earlier in the Popol Vuh text, the appearance of a new sun represented the death of the old world and the establishment of new, divinely-sanctioned political power. Alvarado as the new 'sun' destroys the old world and its gods inaugurating a new age. For this reason, Jesus Christ as the newly-established patron deity is equated with the sun throughout the Maya world (La Farge and Byers 1931, 113-114; La Farge 1947, 104; Mace 1970, 24; Thompson 1970, 234; Vogt 1970, 4; Morley et al. 1983, 465; Cook 1986, 140, 148; Tarn and Prechtel 1986, 174, 180-181; Freidel et al. 1993, 292; Cook 2000, 215-219)."
Such syncretic readings of the past are not limited to Santa Cruz del K'iche'. Christenson (2007: note 857, page 278) continues, "At Jacaltenango, there is a myth for the foundation of the town in which Christ’s birth is associated with the first rise of the sun, whose rays kill his enemies who had tried to hide in caves and under water. This allows Jacaltenango to be founded in the center of the world. La Farge and Byers suggest that this myth is a syncretized version of the account of the dawn in the Popol Vuh, which also ended the previous age and turned its inhabitants to stone (La Farge and Byers 1931, 113-114)."
"At Santiago Atitlán, Maya sculptors carved a vessel bearing a sun on the left and right sides of the community’s colonial era church altarpiece. In his explanation of the sun vessels, one of the sculptors, Diego Chávez Petzey, said that the sun on the left represents a tortilla, because maize is the Maya 'sun.' The sun on the right is the Christian eucharistic Host. He went on to say that life cannot exist without sacrifice. Maize must be crushed on a grinding stone before it can be made into tortillas. The wheat in the sacramental Host must also be ground and baked. The sun can only rise in the east after it has been buried in the west: 'Tortillas, the Host, Jesus Christ, and the sun give life because they are first killed. Tortillas and bread result from the death of maize and wheat so that they can give us life. They are therefore gods.' Nicolás Chávez Sojuel, who also worked on the altarpiece carvings, told me that when the Spaniards came the earth died along with the ancient gods and kings. When I asked him how the world could die, he replied: 'The earth has died many times. Each time the world and its gods are reborn to new life and they regain their former power and new gods are added .... The saints today have Spanish names because the old earth died in the days of the Spanish conquerors. When the spirit keepers of the world appeared again they were the saints, but they do the same work that the old gods did anciently' (Christenson 2001, 135)."