retalhuleu 015The city of Retalhuleu is in south-western Guatemala. It is the departmental seat of Retalhuleu department as well as the municipal seat of Retalhuleu municipality.

Retalhuleu stands at about 240 meters above sea level. In 2003 the city had a population of about 40,000 people. Locally it is nicknamed “Reu”.

People in Reu are modest: they keep another nickname of their city – “capital of the world”. An e>tymology of the name “Retalhuleu”seems to come from the Maya Quiche words: signal, and earth, which means a  in the ground or, with some imagination, The Earth Signal. There is also a fairly widespread legend known historically but without confirmation, that when Pedro de Alvarado asked the Indians to divide their land between Mam and Quiche nations, asked for his sword and waved right and left. And Retalhuleu stayed in the middle, like a signal of that division.

Reu is surrounded by forests, a bit further big plantations of sugar cane, and also rice, cotton and palm trees. There are some Mayan archaeological sites, among them Takalik Abaj as the most important one. There you can see very early Mayan period during which newly emerged culture mixed with the one of Olmeca’s.

Reu is famous in Guatemala because IRTRA’s two water parks are here.



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