Guatemalan Traditions

Guatemalan customs and culture have been largely shaped by the influence of the Maya indigenous population and the later arrival of European populations. Learn more about the customs and the culture in Guatemala.

Guatemala, meaning the “land of the forests” was ruled by indigenous people at the time of the Spanish Conquest in 1523.  Today, different ethnic groups including native descendants, mixed cultural ethnicities, and African-American groups have all contributed to Guatemalan customs and traditions.

Food is an important part of Guatemalan customs and culture. Three meals a day is the norm with the largest meal being lunch. Staple foods throughout the country include corn tortillas and tamales, black beans, rice, wheat bread, and pasta. Guatemala is also popular for its wide variety of vegetables and exotic fruit.

Guatemalan customs are also largely influenced by the predominant Roman Catholic Church.  Much like in Spain, Guatemalan people celebrate Christmas, Advent, Three Kings, and Easter as the most important holidays of the year. Additionally, each village and town honors their respective patron saints and other local events annually. Food also plays an important role in most Guatemalan celebrations.

In this section, learn more about the traditions and customs of Guatemala and the Guatemalan people.