Corazon del Mundo Maya

Guatemala is a country rich in history, culture, and spirit. With the first settlers arriving in 12,000 BC and domination of the Maya civilization occurring nearly 2000 years before the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century. After gaining its independence in the 1840s, Guatemala’s history has been divided by periods of democratic rule and periods of civil war.Most recently, emerging from 36 years of civil war during which an estimated 200,000 men, woman, and children, mostly indigenous, were killed by the Guatemalan army, a million made homeless, and untold thousands disappeared. The civil wars ended in 1996 with the signing of the Peace Accords which contained provisions for accountability for the human-rights violations perpetrated by the armed forces during the war and the resettlement of Guatemala’s one million displaced people. The Peace Accords also addressed the rights of indigenous peoples and women, health care, education and other basic social services, and the abolition of obligatory military service – many of these provisions remain unfulfilled.

These injustices continue to exist today. The average salary of a Guatemalan is 800Q or $113 per month. Most families live on less than $1 a day. The richest 10% of the population accounts for 46% of household consumption while the poorest 10% accounts for 1.6%.

Still, Guatemala remains a country rich in culture, tradition, and spirit. From the tortillas and ancient stories of the people, to the Q’eqchi language that is spoken by almost 50% of the population. This unique Guatemalan spirit overflows in every person, every village, and every community.