In 2005, I went to Guatemala for two weeks to study Mayan culture and religion as a requirement for my M. Div. degree. Just before I left I was told by the seminary that I might reconsider since two people were recently killed there. I said Baltimore was less safe and went anyway.
While Guatemala is majority Mayan and mixed race, much of the political and economic power resides with the descendants of the Spanish conquistadors. Spanish is the official language; however, many Mayans speak their own language at home. There are 23 local languages. With significant agricultural exports and increasing tourism of its Mayan ruins, Guatemala is considered a middle-income country. Much of the country is in high plateau, earning it the nickname "Land of the Eternal Spring." June-October weather is in a band from 61-77 degrees. I packed for tropical weather and was cold the whole time.
Roman Catholicism was the majority religion since colonization. However, both Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches are rapidly growing, making Guatemala the most Protestant nation in Central America. Traditional Mayan religion is practiced by less than one percent of the population.
Photo by Mark Harpur on Unsplash