History of Guatemala

Upon arrival, a representative will meet you to transfer you to Antigua, Guatemala approximately a one-hour drive. Founded in the sixteenth century, Antigua is a cosmopolitan destination with a rich colonial past. Its cobblestone streets are lined with pretty, pastel-hued homes. At the heart of town is the central park, a European-style plaza busy with shoe-shiners, ice cream vendors, families, and tourists. During its architectural peak, Antigua was home to dozens of colonial monuments, churches, and monasteries, but an earthquake in damaged or reduced most to rubble. In the centuries thereafter, efforts were made to rebuild and restore, and the city today is filled with gorgeous and fascinating relics and ruins. After breakfast, visit the famous Mayan archaeology site of Iximche with your guide. Your tour will include a lesser-known, yet significant, Mayan ceremonial site. Meet a local shaman who will perform an authentic and spiritual Mayan ceremony for you in a local language.

11 Guatemalan Traditions and Customs Only Locals Will Understand

If you harbour romantic fantasies of falling in love with a Mayan — good luck. Mayan communities are close, and an intruding outsider would be met with great suspicion, especially a man. A Western girl with a pretty face would probably be in with a chance with a Mayan man, but would be seen as a guilty secret rather than girlfriend material. Romances do sometimes happen, but require taking some time getting to know the people and customs of the community.

A truly age-old craft, the backstrap loom has been used in Guatemala for over two thousand years, pre-dating the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores.

Now, reports broadcast network RT , a new analysis published in the journal Antiquity has revealed additional insights on the wall paintings, which date to the 17th or 18th century and blend Spanish colonial influences with local indigenous culture. Centered on Christian themes, these religious artworks were used by the Spanish to assert their dominance over the Maya people, writes Tom Fish for Express. In contrast, the Chajul wall paintings appear inside private homes—and, most tellingly, contain distinct flourishes of indigenous culture.

In , an international team of researchers started preserving and studying the murals in collaboration with a Maya community indigenous to Guatemala: the Ixil. This group formed the bulk of the roughly , people killed during the Guatemalan Civil War , which lasted from to Many of the friezes feature dancers and musicians. Through interviews with the Chajul Ixil community, the researchers were able to identify specific murals as depictions of known dances from the colonial era.

One mural shows tall, bearded conquistadors playing drums as they encounter a dancer dressed in a traditional feathered costume. Another mural may show the Dance of the Moors and the Christians. The researchers note that the wall art may also feature dances now lost to history. Many were forgotten when the government prohibited the performance of indigenous dances in the 19th and 20th centuries. Chemical analysis of the paintings revealed the use of natural clay pigments typical in Maya art, suggesting the murals were indeed created by indigenous artists, reports Ancient Origins.

These groups organized religious events connected to both Christian and pre-Hispanic Maya traditions.

Holidays and Festivals in Guatemala

Few countries in Central America can claim as diverse historical beginnings as Guatemala, an area about the size of the U. The Republic of Guatemala is home to the Mayan Empire, one of the most well-known and well-respected civilizations in the world. They built massive pyramids and temples, crafted the art of writing through hieroglyphics and developed astronomy. They also left a timeless legacy for Guatemalans [source : Latham ].

The Mayans’ rule was eventually toppled by Spanish invasion in , but that didn’t stop the heritage of the Mayan empire from thriving in the country, even today. Of the more than 14 million people who make their home in Guatemala, more than half of them are descendants of the Mayans [source: Enjoy Guatemala ].

Thousands of families in Guatemala have not found closure. the “Florence of America” because of its rich history of art, dating back to the s. Its external walls are being painted in traditional murals by women painters.

Some festivals are small and unique to a village, while others are commemorated across the entire country. If you happen to be around during a festival, make plans to see it. They are colorful and festive affairs. The vibrant and diverse cultural heritage of Guatemala makes for some incredible and colorful holidays and festivals. This is further fueled by Guatemala’s religious practices , which are actually a combination of several beliefs and their traditions.

This holiday is celebrated like others in Guatemala — with dancing, music, parades, food, and fireworks. You can also enjoy fiambre during All Saints Day — this is a Guatemalan dish that is typically only eaten during this festival. On this day, families head to the local cemetery to mark the gravestones of departed relatives with candles and flowers. On December 7, Guatemala celebrates one of its more unique holidays — Burning of the Devil.

All over Guatemala families take burnable items — including waste paper, old magazines, and trash — and light them on fire in the street. This ritual is meant to cleanse the households as they prepare for the holy week surrounding Christmas.

Guatemalan Men: What to know about dating a Guatemalan man

Many of the dead have not been identified yet, and the majority of the disappeared have not been found. Thousands of families in Guatemala have not found closure. The organization also supports women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and facilitated testimonies from women in support of the national reparation programme that was adopted in An estimated 4, — 5, people [from this area] were forcibly disappeared—that included men, women and children.

The villagers knew that the military kidnapped [indigenous] people and brought them here and tortured them.

Guatemala spans the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. of the Mayan civilization, Guatemala is still home to traditions that date back thousands of years.

Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. Bare knuckle boxing at chivarreto guatemala Three hours of fights in front of 5, people in the highlands. The highland town of Chivarreto is the venue for bare-knuckle fights each year on Good Friday. Explanations for the tradition vary, but it makes for a great day out.

Head to the northern city of Quetzaltenango and look for onward transport. Locals get trashed on alcohol before attempting to race horses through town watched by friends, family and a growing number of intrigued tourists. Easter is a big deal in the colonial city of Antigua, where religious processions wind their way through town during Holy Week.

The mixture of Mayan and Roman Catholic traditions has left Guatemala a fascinating cultural legacy. One of the strangest components is Maximon, also known as San Simon, a saint that grants favors in return for cigarettes, alcohol and other gifts left by followers at his altar.

How Guatemalan Traditions Work

Semana Santa, or Holy Week in English, is a biblically inspired tradition that takes place during the last week of Lent before Easter. The traditions celebrated throughout Latin America are a lasting visage of Spanish post-colonial influence. As we experienced in Guatemala, the church community goes to great lengths decorating and preparing for the symbolic tribute to the life and death of Jesus.

This memorial week draws attention and reverence from all levels of society, and thousands gather to experience the unique atmosphere. Some Christian denominations, including the Catholic Church, bless palm fronds and give them to the congregation during Palm Sunday services.

The first proof of human settlers in Guatemala dates at least as far back as first allied himself with the Cakchiquel nation to fight against their traditional rivals.

We want to make planning your trip to Mission Guatemala very easy! Below are some resources that you can download to help plan and prepare for your trip. It contains important information and answers to many of your questions. From time to time, we may need to make some changes in this guide, so please be aware that it is possible for information to change.

If you desire, we also have a Bible study that you can use in preparing for your Guatemala mission trip and reflection following your Guatemala mission trip. Preparing For The Journey can be downloaded and adapted as needed. We have devotion books that can be used for team devotions while you’re in Guatemala. The booklets also contain helpful history, maps, and Spanish phrases.

Guatemala Travel Essentials

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Want to learn about traditions in Guatemala? Read about Guatemalan traditions at HowStuffWorks. The Mayan culture is still a big part of Guatemala. Keep up to date on: Latest Buzz · Stuff Shows & Podcasts · Tours · Weird & Wacky.

The Maya Empire, centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reached the peak of its power and influence around the sixth century A. The Maya excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar-making and mathematics, and left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and symbolic artwork. Most of the great stone cities of the Maya were abandoned by A. The Maya civilization was one of the most dominant indigenous societies of Mesoamerica a term used to describe Mexico and Central America before the 16th century Spanish conquest.

This concentration showed that the Maya remained relatively secure from invasion by other Mesoamerican peoples. Within that expanse, the Maya lived in three separate sub-areas with distinct environmental and cultural differences: the northern Maya lowlands on the Yucatan Peninsula; the southern lowlands in the Peten district of northern Guatemala and adjacent portions of Mexico, Belize and western Honduras; and the southern Maya highlands, in the mountainous region of southern Guatemala.

Most famously, the Maya of the southern lowland region reached their peak during the Classic Period of Maya civilization A. The earliest Maya settlements date to around B. The earliest Maya were agricultural, growing crops such as corn maize , beans, squash and cassava manioc. During the Middle Preclassic Period, which lasted until about B.

The Middle Preclassic Period also saw the rise of the first major Mesoamerican civilization, the Olmecs. In addition to agriculture, the Preclassic Maya also displayed more advanced cultural traits like pyramid-building, city construction and the inscribing of stone monuments. The Late Preclassic city of Mirador, in the northern Peten, was one of the greatest cities ever built in the pre-Columbian Americas. Its size dwarfed the Classic Maya capital of Tikal, and its existence proves that the Maya flourished centuries before the Classic Period.

Fowler Museum to present an exhibition featuring masks from Guatemala

Wonderful country Guatemala that is located in Central America and considers to be the heart of Mayan civilization. This name comes from the dialect of the indigenous people. In this wonderful part of the world, you will definitely find a very exciting culture. This country is very traditional and the same goes for dating.

Dating in Guatemalan culture is not an easy task.

If you want to know how to attract a Guatemalan girl, read this article! a champion’s guide to meeting, dating, and marrying a Guatemala girl from your dreams. Guatemalan women respect their culture and traditions a lot, however, nobody.

This event culminates on the 15th after a week long festival. February 2,4: Coffee Harvest Celebration – Taking place in the Fraijanes, this town comes alive with the arrival of the coffee harvest. There are many processions with lots of great food music and dance. The celebrations are a mix of Mayan and Christian traditions and include processions through the streets on rugs made of dyed sawdust especially for the occasion. It showcases the Indian traditions that have existed for thousands of years and includes much music and dance.

You’ll find lots of music, dance, fireworks, and noise. Also enjoy the famous Fiambre, a Guatemalan dish eaten only during these two days of the year. December 7: Burning of the Devil – All over the country Guatemalans take everything burnable, such as waste paper, old household items, etc.

Discovering Mayan culture in Guatemala – Lonely Planet travel videos

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