Xinka

The Xinka of Guatemala

The smallest and most mysterious of Guatemala’s four main ethnic groups is the Xinka, a non-Mayan indigenous community that dominated the southeastern part of the country between 900 and 1100 AD. Before the arrival of the Spanish, Xinka territory spanned from the shores of the...
Tajumulco

Climbing Tajumulco Volcano

West of the departmental capital of San Marcos, a winding road follows a broad ridge of the Sierra Madre mountains through majestic highland scenery. The sun shines bright over the innumerable mountains, its twinkling reflection illuminating the peaks, valleys, and rivers of one...
Indigenous Dress

Indigenous Dress in Guatemala

The highlight of many visitors’ trips to Guatemala is the brightly colored clothing worn by indigenous women of the mountainous Western Highlands. Each region or town has a unique, locally made design. All indigenous dress is called traje and is made up of three components. The...
garífuna

The Garífuna of Guatemala

In 1635, a Spanish ship transporting slaves from Nigeria to the New World capsized, and its African survivors took refuge on the nearby island of St. Vincent. Cut off from the rest of the world, the former slaves began to intermarry with the local indigenous people, and over time...
Iximché

Day Trip to the Ruins of Iximché

Near present-day Tecpán, this ancient city was once the capital of the Mayan Kaqchikel people. Originally friendly with the K’iche’ and their capital at nearby Q’umarkaj, the Kaqchikel quickly grew in power, and the two groups became rivals. The Kaqchikel soon decided to split...
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