Mayan Groups in Guatemala

There are many different ethnic Mayan groups within Guatemala with unique languages and cultural practices—nearly every village in the western highlands is unique in their dress and customs.

The most widely spoken Mayan dialect is K’iche with nearly a million speakers. Other large groups are Kaqchikel with about 1/2 million and Mam with nearly 700,000. By some accounts there are 22 separate Mayan ethnolinguisitc groups in a country the size of the state of Tennessee. Other groups include:

  • Achi’
  • Akateko
  • Awakateko
  • Ch’orti
  • Chuj
  • Itza
  • Ixil
  • Mopan
  • Popti
  • Poqoman
  • Poqomchi
  • Q’anjob’al
  • Q’eqchi
  • Sakapulteko
  • Sipakapense
  • Tektiteko
  • Tz’utujil
  • Uspanteko

These distinct dialects isolate the people if they don’t also learn the national language of Spanish. Children learn Spanish when they attend school but if a child doesn’t attend school or only goes for 1-2 year it is difficult to learn another language. It is necessary to learn Spanish to be able to get a good job and support a family.

Education And More is helping to educate children and lift families out of poverty!


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