Guatemala's Maya community

The majority of indigenous peoples in Guatemala are of Mayan descent. The Maya are essentially a regional group. In all an estimated 5 million Mayans live in the different Central American countries,

The Mayans of Guatemala are the only indigenous culture that constitutes a majority of the population in a Central American republic. There are 21 different Maya groups in Guatemala making up an estimated 51 per cent of the national population.

Maya are dispersed throughout Guatemala especially in the western highlands. The largest populations are in rural departments north and west of Guatemala City, most notably, Alta Verapaz, Sololá, Totonicapán and Quiché. Maya are also located on farms in Guatemala's southern area known as Boca Costa.

Mayan groups are distinguished by language. The most common of the approximately 26 indigenous Mayan languages that are still spoken are Q'eqchi, Cakchiquel, Mam (Maya), Tzutujil, Achi and Pokoman.

Economic and political power has been in the hands of ladinos since the dispossession of the indigenous population by Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. Ever since then, the Maya have suffered a history of discrimination, marginalization and periodic genocide.

Gallery

Click on image for larger view

Public market in Antigua - taken by Laura Quintana Soms
 MRG-GAL-6644
Download High Res
Download Low Res
Public market in Chichicastenango - taken by Adria Quintana Soms
 MRG-GAL-6645
Download High Res This file may be low resolution. Please check before using it for print
Download Low Res
"Mayan chaman" - a Mayan ritual at Pascual Abaj in Chichicastenango. In the picture, one chaman on the right. Laura Quintana Soms
 MRG-GAL-6646
Download High Res This file may be low resolution. Please check before using it for print
Download Low Res
A woman weaving in San Juan la Laguna, another village by lake Atitlan. This village is popular because of coffee plantations and hand-made fabrics.
 MRG-GAL-6647
Download High Res This file may be low resolution. Please check before using it for print
Download Low Res
Fisherman at Lake Atitlan - this is a traditional way of fishing. The name of the village is San Pedro la Laguna and it's one of the villages by lake Atitlan. Taken by Laura Quintana Soms
 MRG-GAL-6648
Download High Res
Download Low Res
Chichicastenango's cementery. Taken by Laura Quintana Soms.
 MRG-GAL-6649
Download High Res
Download Low Res

< back 

Date: 31/10/2016

Countries:

Guatemala

Categories:

Culture and Tradition

Press Contact Information

Name: Emma Eastwood

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7422 4205

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union
.