Cultural Information Guatemala

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Culture Gram

Culture Gram Guatemala

Federal Travel Website

Local News

Common Cuisine

  • Tapado
  • Chacletas de güisquil
  • Yuca con chicharrón
  • Kak'ik
  • Chiles rellenos



  • Ricardo Arjona
  • Gaby Moreno
  • Bohemia Suburbana
  • Shery
  • Giovanni Passarelli


Who's Who?

Tecun Uman was one of the last rulers of the K'iche' Maya people, in the highlands of what is now Guatemala. According to the Kaqchikel annals, he was slain by Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado while waging battle against the Spanish and their allies on the approach to Quetzaltenango on 12 February 1524. Tecun Uman was declared Guatemala's official national hero on March 22, 1960 and is commemorated on February 20, the popular anniversary of his death. Tecun Uman has inspired a wide variety of activities ranging from the production of statues and poetry to the retelling of the legend in the form of folkloric dances to prayers. Despite this, Tecun Uman's existence is not well documented, and it has proven to be difficult to separate the man from the legend.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is an indigenous Guatemalan woman, of the K'iche' ethnic group. After the long Guatemalan Civil War from 1960 to 1996, and during the course of its conduct, she had devoted her life for the cause of promoting the indigenous rights in her country. She belongs to the Kiche ethnicity and received her early education at different Catholic boarding schools. In 1992 she received the Nobel Prize. Some opponents approached the Nobel Committee, but it dismissed the calls to revoke the Nobel prize on account of the reported falsification of her biography, and the Nobel committee declared that “ her prize was not based exclusively or primarily on the autobiography.” In 1998 she received Prince of Austria’s Award. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She is also a political figure and had been the presidential candidate during the 2007 and 2011 presidential elections.

Edgar Ricardo Arjona Morales known as Ricardo Arjona, is a Guatemalan singer-songwriter and former basketball player and school teacher. Arjona is one of the most successful Latin American artists of all time, with more than 20 million albums sold. He is often called El Animal Nocturno (The Nocturnal Animal), thanks to his breakthrough success with his fourth studio album which bears the same name. His music ranges from ballads to Latin pop, rock, pop rock, Cuban music, and more recently a cappella performances and a mixture of Tejano music and Norteño music, and other Afro-American and Latin sounds. Arjona is noted for his lyrical style, and often addresses topics such as love, sexuality, violence, racism and immigration.

Television and Films

  • La Vaca-Holy Cow
  • Cápsulas
  • La Bodega
  • Donde acaban los caminos
  • El capitan Orellana y la aldea endemoniada

Recommended Readings

  • When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep by Sylvia Sellers-Garcia
  • The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth by Dianna Ortiz
  • Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala by Victoria Sanford
  • Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala by Daniel Wilkinson


Otto Fernando Pérez Molina is a Guatemalan politician and retired military officer who has been President of Guatemala since January 14, 2012. Standing as the Patriotic Party (Partido Patriota) candidate, he lost the 2007 presidential election but prevailed in the 2011 presidential election. During the 1990s, before entering politics, he served as Director of Military Intelligence, Presidential Chief of Staff under President Ramiro de Leon Carpio, and as chief representative of the military for the Guatemalan Peace Accords. During his presidency, amongst his activities was a controversial call for the legalization of drugs.

Ingrid Roxana Baldetti Elías is the current and first female Vice President of Guatemala. In the 1990s, she was designated as the Under Secretary of Public Relations for the Presidency of the Republic. In 2001, she help found the Patriot Party alongside Otto Pérez Molina. She was elected to the Congress of Guatemala in 2004, she held the position of deputy by National List for the Congress of Guatemala, for the Patriot Party. However, she presented her resignation to the Congress president before August 15, 2011, as she was going to participate as the vice president candidate for the same party, along with Otto Pérez Molina.[4] and she announced the elections day that she will retake her position as deputy. She has been the General Secretary of the Patriotic Party since 2009.

Juan José Arévalo Bermejo was a professor of philosophy who became Guatemala's first democratically elected president in 1944. He was elected following a popular uprising against the United States backed dictator Jorge Ubico. He remained in office until 1951, surviving several coup attempts. He did not contest the election of 1951, instead choosing to hand over power to Jacobo Árbenz. As president, he enacted several social reform policies, including an increase in the minimum wage and a series of literacy programs. He also oversaw the drafting of a new constitution in 1945.

Cultural Activities

  • Wander the grounds of Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua
  • Learn about Mayan Guatemalan garments at Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena in Guatemala City
  • Tour Guatemala from above by Paragliding in Panajachel
  • Enjoy a beautiful view by hiking up Santa Maria Volcano in Quetzaltenango

Recommended Websites

Did You Know??

Elham Al Qasim is an Emirati woman, who embarked on a successful skiing expedition to the North Pole “unsupported and unassisted” (two terms used in polar expeditions, denoting use of natural means and without any kind of assistance). On April 23, 2010, she became the first Arab woman and the first UAE national to reach the North Pole.

Page last modified March 27, 2017