Culture & Heritage Guatemala | Guatexplorer

El Baul

El Baul was an archaeological site located on a private land near the town of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa. Nobody has protected it as a public good, so the site itself is almost gone. What you can do is to pay a visit to the small museum in the open to see the carved stones found there. They will not even charge you the entrance fee.

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Sugar cane

Immediately after the conquest of Guatemala, new landlords started cultivation of the sugar cane. The story says that it started on the Lake Amatitlán in 1536, but soon areas of Jilotepeque, Escuintla, Guazacapán and Verapaz became known for sugar production. Interestingly, this new industry was taken over by Catholic Church missionaries, members of the various orders like Jesuits, Mercedarians, Dominicans and Augustinians.

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Trains - memories in Reu

Train network was started in Guatemala in 1877.  Narrow gauge was chosen (3 ft.) to fulfill the needs of transportation of various goods, mainly fruits and coffee. History of railroads in Guatemala is connected with activities of United Fruit Company, and at the peak of now abandoned system, railroad connected Atlantic with Pacific, having several other branches towards Mexico and in Alta Verapaz.

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Iximche is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the western highlands of Guatemala, some 90 km from the capital. Iximche was the capital of the Late Postclassic Kaqchikel Maya kingdom from 1470 until its abandonment in 1524.

The architecture of the site included a number of pyramid-temples, palaces, and two Mesoamerican ballcourts.

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Zaculeu or Saqulew is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site in the highlands of western Guatemala, about 3.7 kilometers (2.3 mi) outside of the modern city of Huehuetenango.

Occupation at the site dates back as far as the Early Classic period (AD 250–600) of Mesoamerican history. Zaculeu was the capital of the Postclassic Mam kingdom and was conquered by the K’iche’ Kingdom of Q’umarkaj, displaying a mixture of Mam and K’iche’ style architecture.

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National palace

Actually known as Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture), it is identified as Guatemala City’s symbol in its monumental architectural context. It was the most important building in Guatemala and was the headquarters of the President of Guatemala. The building is the origin of all the roads in the Republic and has a spot known as Kilometro Cero (Zero Kilometer). It is actually a museum and also is used for important acts of the government.

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Kites of Sumpango

To be in Sumpango on a day when they make and exhibit gigantic kites is precious; this festival is more and more popular among visitors of Guatemala. And that day is called Day of the dead – 1st of November.

Flying kites is an important part of various ceremonies that surround that day. It is widely believed that by doing this you get in touch with your deceased ancestors. Local climate provides you with winds in that period, making kites is a widespread skill in some areas of the country, so all things are set for this incredible event.

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Alfombra is a carpet, usually made of sand and other materials during Semana Santa. The custom is brought by Spanish, although some sources describe almost similar tradition among Tlaxcala Indians. It takes a lot of work to make one «alfombra» – if it is 12 X 5 meters large, team of six people will take some 12 hours of very hard and precise work.

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Ceiba - national tree of Guatemala

Among many species of trees that you can encounter in Guatemala, ceiba is most important one. In many Guatemalan towns, you will notice this strong, huge plant, dominating the neighborhood. Some peace treaties and many important decisions were signed under its spreading branches; some particular trees are still important like the biggest ceiba in Guatemala located in a little town of Palin, Escuintla, and ceiba San Francisco in Peten district. Both are several centuries old.

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The white nun

Monja blanca (Lycaste skinneri ) – flower was adopted as an emblem of Guatemala by presidential decree of General Jorge Ubico, February 11, 1934. It was suggested by Leticia M. Southerland, president of the international flower exhibition held in Florida (USA) in 1933. Since then, this flower is a symbol of peace, purity, and beauty.

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Quetzal bird

Putting one such a natural thing in culture and heritage section? Yes, since little and charming Quetzal bird is a part of a national identity. He gave the name to the currency of Guatemala. Quetzal is in the names of towns, products, companies, sports clubs, everywhere.

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Legend of Tecun Uman

Tecun Uman was Quiché king who fought with his army against the Spanish conquerors in the battle of Pinal, in which he was fatally wounded by the sword of Don Pedro de Alvarado that pierced his chest.

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Independence Day

Guatemalan independence day is September 15, as a memory on that day in 1821. Let's tell the tale.

From 1811 to 1818, Spanish Captain General José de Bustamante ruled the Kingdom of Guatemala. He suppressed all attempts toward independence thus preserving the region’s allegiance to Spain. King Ferdinand VII was restored to the Spanish throne after the French were defeated in Spain in 1814. However, a revolt ensued around 1820 in Spain thereby restoring the constitution of 1812. During this period local election campaigns followed in Central America and an intense political rivalry emerged between the liberal and the conservative factions of the elite.

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Guatemalan national anthem

Jose Joaquin Palma (Bayamo, Cuba, September 11, 1844 – Guatemala City. August 2, 1911) is the author of Guatemalan national anthem.

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