The indigenous (Mayan) people have lived in Central America for many centuries, and Guatemala is the epicenter. They are one of the many Pre-Columbian native people of Mesoamerica. The have occupy Guatemala mostly, Yucatan Peninsula and Belize (theas last two were part of Guatemalan territory in the past).

Recent proof of human settlers in Guatemala dates at least as far back as 20,000 BC, (The evidence includes a massive city for millions of habitants recently discovered in archaeological sites in Peten).

Guatemalan culture and Guatemalan customs are strongly influenced by the history of Guatemala. Guatemalan people are largely mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and Maya blood and it is around 41% of the population, while many villagers are direct Maya descendants, 39% (Amerindians). 18% are white people or Ladinos as they are called.

Guatemalan traditional culture is present in many arts and forms, like cuisine for instance, varies depending on the region. However, most of the traditional Guatemalan foods are based on Maya cuisine, featuring ingredients like corn, chilies and beans. Their principal crop of the Maya was corn (maiz) which continues to be very important today. Other popular dishes in Guatemala include quesadillas and tamales, although these are not to be confused with similar dishes of the neighboring countries.

Another important part of Guatemalan culture is its music and fashion. Guatemalan people are known for their percussion bands featuring marimbas, whis is the national instrument. Guatemalan fashion is also well known for its use of brightly colored handmade textiles, capes, shirts, blouses, skirts and dresses.


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