An Approach to its Cultures and Ethnic Groups
A Social Sciences Essay in 6 Sections
By Darío Morán

The Garifunas or Gallinagú came to Guatemalan territory during the 19th century in 1802 from Saint Vincent island and Trinidad y Tobago in the Caribbean Sea, they settled in the small town now known as Livingston(without the e-ending) in the department of Izabal on the North Atlantic coastal lands, a minority populated some area of the Polochic river basin but did not remain there for a long time.

Livingston was formerly named as La Buga which means : the mouth of the sea in Garífuna language but an ex-President of Guatemala changed its name, wishing to honour the famous jurist fron Louisiana Edward Livingstone whose law codes were introduced in the Judicial Program in the country. Livingston is a small municipality and belongs to the seconda largest department of Guatemala after El Petén where the Mayan City of Tikal is located.

Garífunas are also trying to rescue their cultural inheritance, the Congress of Guatemala declared a few years ago, november the 26th as the Day of the Garífunas in the country, four days before, they celebrate events reminding their origins,their arrival to Guatemala and the elements of their mixed culture, they are the Afrocaribbean guatemalans.

Section 3 The XINCA PEOPLE
The Xinca people unfortunately is endangered culturally speaking,
Facts report that only about 20 elderly people can speak in their mother tongue, some efforts are done by groups of young Xincas but they still need more support and motivation for the success of their positive and valuable commitment.
Xincas have been forgotten as a people, as a social conglomerate and as an ethnic group there is still a lot to decipher to know more of this group.

It has been said by some scholars and authors that Xincas are less “Mexicanized” than the other groups of Mayas in Guatemala, anthropologists and archaeologists do not arrive to a specific accord related to the origins of them, and there is also a belief that they came from some regions of South América after comparisons of alike words of the Xinca language with some of a language spoken in the south of the continent.

Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras, the Spanish conqueror of Guatemala really had a bad time when conquering and invading the Xinca territory in the south east because they were tough warriors as he wrote in his letters to the king of Spain.

The Ladino People
Ladino is a term applied to people in Guatemala who have the two bloods in their veins : Maya and Spanish, the Ladino as a social and cultural group was originated in the very early years of the establishment of the Spanish Colony in Guatemala producing the Mestizaje ( Mix of Indigenous and Maya races) when the Spanish conquistadors took indigenous women by the force as concubines and formed the first not legally established Mestizo families and also when a minority of couples got married legally thru a civil act as the Matrimony.

By DarioMoran

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