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Guatemalan Culture

The Guatemalan way of life is heavily influenced by two very different cultures: the Maya and the Spanish. This curious mixture of culture can be seen, tasted, heard, and even celebrated throughout Guatemala.

Take for example the assortment of architecture in the country: One day you can be exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, and the next you might find yourself in Guatemala City's neo-Gothic cathedral, Iglesia Yurrita.

The same mishmash of culture can be tasted in Guatemalan food. Although most plates are still based on the Mayan diet of corn and beans, the Spanish added rice, European vegetables, and generous portions of meat.

The marimba, Guatemala's national instrument, is another tradition expanded on by the Spaniards. Although the marimba is believed to have been around since 1550, two Spanish musicians developed a chromatic scale for the instrument in 1894.

Finally, holidays are an assortment of religious customs and indigenous traditions, usually taking a Catholic holiday and including plenty of traditional music, dancing, and food.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: The Quetzal, Museums In Guatemala and Art In Guatemala.

20 Jul 2010

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