Guatemala is one of the richest countries in Latin America in terms of culture and nature. Juan Luis Bosh Gutiérrez, Guatemalan businessman and altruist, has mentioned on several occasions that Maya culture is one of the most interesting in his country. For this reason, below we tell you about this mysterious and magnificent civilization.
Mayan Culture in Guatemala
One of the oldest civilizations in the world inhabited Mesoamerica more than 1,000 years before Christ. Covering from southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala, Belize and parts of western Honduras and El Salvador, the Maya were an outstanding civilization, which left their roots well marked in this part of the world.
Although the population numbers are not known exactly, it is known that it was one of the densest civilizations, due to the large portion of the land is covered in this region of the world.
Thanks to the magnificent architecture and material used by the Mayas, today, we can appreciate impressive cities, temples, and stelae that have survived over the centuries.
Many constructions are still hidden in the middle of the Peten jungle, so the Mayan ruins remain a mystery that continues to be discovered.
As one of the most dominant indigenous civilizations in Latin America, the Maya excelled thanks to their complex writing system, extraordinary architecture, and impressive mathematics, as well as their great calendar and highly sophisticated astronomical system.
The Maya were firmly divided; they all shared similar ideologies and traditions but were never united as a single empire. Divided between nobles, ordinaries, and slaves, this civilization was extremely powerful.
They achieved such groundbreaking discoveries that today they are factors influencing the development of the world’s society. They expanded across such a large portion of land that they developed 30 different languages and dialects, which originated from the mother tongue Protomaya, dating back 5,000 years.
Today, 40% of the Guatemalan population is descended from this wonderful ethnic group and it is in Guatemala where most of the Mayan languages are still preserved, with a total of 22 active languages.
Crafts and textiles
Weaving is one of the outstanding arts of the Maya. This practice has survived uninterruptedly for centuries, and today, textiles made in this region are gaining popularity around the world.
The Maya also make baskets, pottery, carved wood, sculptures of saints, and brightly painted toys. If you want to get one of these products, Chichicastenango is a town that offers all these crafts in its large market on Thursdays and Sundays.
If you want a more local experience, San Francisco el Alto has one of the largest markets in Central America, which serves Totonicapán every Friday.
Guatemala is known as the Heart of the Mayan World due to the mysticism and traditions that the ancestors have shaped in their people. A unique country that invites you to travel back in time to create unforgettable experiences.
Learn more about the Mayan culture on your next visit to Guatemala, its architectural sites will leave you amazed. Don’t forget to follow all the sanitary measures in every place you visit.