In a land of ancient cultures and perpetual spring, tradition and potential blend in daily life

As the birthplace of the ancient Mayan civilization, Guatemala represents a history rich in culture and religion. Within the primarily Catholic nation, many practicing Mayan people contribute to a mixture of traditions and beliefs.

Each Maya village has its own colorful style of weaving, perpetuated in local dress and in handcrafts sold internationally.

Guatemala’s nickname, “the land of eternal spring,” describes its year-round temperate climate. Fruits and vegetables grow in abundance. The geography varies from dense, sprawling rainforests, to black, sandy beaches, to rain-soaked highlands.

While having the largest economy in Central America, Guatemala also ranks among countries with the highest levels of inequality. Major cities and towns bustle with modern developments. Yet families in rural areas still face challenges of poverty, malnutrition and limited access to education.

Your participation with Missions Door advances leadership training, church planting and youth ministry in Guatemala.

Cultural Snapshot

In Guatemala’s Mayan villages, the most common dance depicts the Spanish victory over the Mayans, while also poking fun at the conquistadors.

Faith Fact

The constitution of Guatemala permits, but does not require, religious instruction in public schools, allowing local communities the freedom to determine content and instruction.

Country Profile

Population: 15 million, 58% ages 0–24

Major Religions: 60% Catholic, 40% Protestant

Languages: 60% Spanish, 40% Amerindian languages

Literacy: 78%

Poverty: 56%