Being Indian in Ciudad de Guatemala


  • Marek Halbich



Ciudad de Guatemala/Guatemala City, Indians, Ladino People, ethnicity, urban anthropology


This article first briefly presents the history of the Guatemala main cities in the context of the process of dichotomization of Guatemalan society, which is nowadays divided into two equally numerous ethnic and social groups: native (Indian), represented mainly by the most numerous Mayan ethnic groups (Quiché, Kaqchikel, Keqchí, Mam), and Ladino (mixed white/Creole-Indian). In the next part, I discuss several sociological and anthropological works on Guatemala City. Finally, I address how the forming process of “being Indian” in the capital of Central American Guatemala has been constructed. Here I combine a review of the vast ethnographic work of Guatemalan social anthropologist Manuela Camus with my personal reflection.

Author Biography

Marek Halbich

studied at the Pedagogical Faculty in Ústí nad Labem from 1985 to 1990. Between 1990 and 1998 he continued studying ethnology at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague. He was a postgraduate student at the Institute of Ethnology at the Faculty of Arts from 1997 to 2007. In 2007 he concluded his dissertation thesis called Tarahumara/Rarámuri in northwestern Mexico: from caves to ejido. Since 2002 he has been employed as an assistant professor in the Department of General Anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University in Prague. He gives lectures on ecological anthropology, anthropology/sociology of tourism, linguistic anthropology and Ibero-American studies focused above all on the native groups of Mexican northwest and Central America. He carried out his fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.




How to Cite

Halbich, M. (2011). Being Indian in Ciudad de Guatemala. Lidé města, 13(2), 171-193.