Culture of Guatemala has one of the richest backgrounds in all of Central America. Having a population of 80% indigenous with 26 different Mayan groups, traditions are a strong part of their daily lives. Many villages welcome visitors to experience first-hand their traditional ways.
Best Cultural Tours in Guatemala:
The Western Highlands of Guatemala is world known for its colorful and intricately woven “huipil” (Wee-peel). This is a Spanish term for a Maya woman’s traditional blouse. The tradition of weaving was around way before the Spanish conquest. To this day it is a ritualist and weaving is taught to young girls before they even go school. Enjoy a tour of local weavers homes as they demonstrate the use the backloom and the treddle loom for their hand-woven materials.
Traditional Mayan Sauna
The indigenous steam bath is perfect for detoxification and purification of the body. The sauna is based in a concrete dome with a wood fire-warmed metal drum inside. You have to throw water on it to heat it up. The great thing about this is before entering you need to smear sugar all over your body then wait for it to melt into a syrup. Once that happens, run into a cold shower to wash it off, and you will feel super relaxed.
Cooking / Tortear
Everywhere you go in Guatemala you’ll see girls standing around a round oven clapping and conversing. Join in the act of making a tortilla, the essence of the local diet, and its vital role in local culture. You’ll be challenged by transforming corn into a tortilla, which is much harder to do than you think!
The Copavic Glass Blowing Cooperative is one of the most unusual places to visit. Glass blowing experts create absolute wonders such as vases, cups, plates and so much more by using only recycled glass. Watch as they melt the glass into a red-hot liquid and work bring it to life.
Traditional Chocolate Making
Mayans and Aztecs from Central America and the ones who introduced chocolate to the rest of the world after the European conquest. So they know how to prepare it the original way and love sharing it with anyone who comes to the country. Antigua has a couple of places where you can find a chocolate-making tour. They even let you taste it how the ancient Maya used to have it.
Bonus: Coffee tours, dancing classes, and even marimba classes are also offered and will give you a better insight into the local culture.
As you can see there are many options for learning about the culture of the people in this country. If you have some extra time to spend when you visit Guatemala make sure to try at least one of these tours. I’m sure you will love it!
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