• Nicaragua!

    Nicaragua: Door in Granada. Go Now!

    Nicaragua
    Mystery abounds behind every door in Nicaragua, including the historic cultural city of Granada (pictured). Go Now!

  • United States!

    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

  • Trinidad & Tobago!

    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

  • Cuba!

    Cuba: Sandy beach. Go Now!

    Cuba
    Many people fear the unknowns of Cuba, but the history, culture, food, and impressive beaches lure many visitors every year. Explore Cuba!

  • Guatemala!

    Guatemala: Colorful culture. Go Now!

    Guatemala
    Colorful Guatemala offers something for every visitor: great food, ancient Mayan ruins, and pristine beaches. Go Now!

  • Jamaica!

    Jamaica: Pristine beach. Go Now!

    Jamaica
    Jamaican culture is about relaxation, great foods, friendly competition, and so much more. A good place to start is on the beach. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Guatemala

Behavior

The Guatemalans are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Guatemalans behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Guatemala try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Guatemala Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional clothing in Guatemala is a combination of Mayan and Spanish influences and today many of these more Mayan clothes are still worn. For these people the traditional dress is called traje, which has a great amount of variation, which is not a surprise since the people are quite diverse ethnically and linguistically. Although there are numerous differences, there are also many similarities as bold colors dominate, particularly red, blues, and yellows as well as black. The styles are also somewhat similar, a style influenced by European-styled clothing as dresses and long braids on women and simple shirts, pants, and vests for men are common traditional clothing.

Guatemalan Culture - Materials at a market
Materials at a market

Today many of the ethnic Mayans still wear traditional dress, especially women in more rural areas, but this dress can be found anywhere in the country. More commonly is modern western-styled clothing as many people have turned to this style, particularly in the cities.

As a visitor to Guatemala, dress is fairly casual, especially along the country's beaches. However, business meetings and in churches dress on the more formal and conservative side of the spectrum. Also, sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is rarely to never permitted; if in doubt, check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: December, 2013