Indigenous peoples in Guatemala

Some 60 percent of Guatemala's population is made up of indigenous peoples - that is more than 6 million inhabitants.

The Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala are the:

  • Achi’
  • Akateco
  • Awakateco
  • Chalchiteco
  • Ch’orti’
  • Chuj
  • Itza’
  • Ixil
  • Jacalteco
  • Kaqchikel
  • K’iche’
  • Mam
  • Mopan
  • Poqomam
  • Poqomchi’
  • Q’anjob’al
  • Q’eqchi’
  • Sakapulteco
  • Sipakapense
  • Tektiteko
  • Tz’utujil
  • Uspanteko
  • Xinka
  • Garífuna

The indigenous population continue to lag behind the non-indigenous population in social statistics: they are 2.8 times poorer and have 13 years’ less life expectancy; meanwhile, only 5 percent of university students are indigenous.

The human development report from 2008 indicates that 73 percent of the indigenous population are poor (as opposed to 35 percent of the non-indigenous population), and 26 percent are extremely poor.

Indigenous participation in the country’s economy as a whole accounts for 61.7 percent of output, as opposed to 57.1 percent for the non-indigenous population.

Guatemala voted in favour of the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 and ratified ILO Convention 169 in 1996.  

Yearly Update

Download the 2016 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Guatemala to learn about major developments and events during 2015.